Miss Independent- Kelly Clarkson
Today I did something that I never thought I’d do.
I went and saw a movie by myself.
It might not sound like much of an achievement but if you knew me well, you’d be suitably impressed and it got me thinking about how much had changed over the last year…
A year ago, the mere thought of being alone created a surge of panic somewhere inside me. A tightening of the chest.
I was coming to terms with being single for the first time since I was a teenager and desperately, desperately missing my ex. The world seemed scary and impossible without them and I was overwhelmed at the thought of having to do every day activities and handle normal, adult situations without them by my side.
But it wasn’t just about being single; I just hated being by myself, left to my own thoughts. I’ve always been someone who packs their schedules chock-full of coffee catch up’s, long lunches and dinner dates…someone who is excited when their housemates get home from work or when they walk into the office in the morning because it means I’ll once again be surrounded by people.
I remember being in lockdown the night before I went into the Big Brother house, stuck in a hotel room on the Gold Coast and the executive producer Alex telling me to “enjoy my last night on my own” because I was about to be forced to live with a bunch of strangers.
Ironically, the 10 days in isolation were by far more challenging than the 9 weeks in that house.
On top of all that, the movies reminded me of my ex and cutesy date nights and unfortunately an activity once found up there with my favourite things to do on a Sunday night was suddenly marred by the sting of heartache.
So, now, perhaps you understand that the fact that I was quite happy to take myself off to a movie I’d wanted to watch, spending some quality time in my own company is actually quite telling.
Telling of how far I’ve come in the last 12 months. I’ve gone from someone completely co-dependent on other people, a succubus of other’s energy and time…annoyingly needy and prone to late-night meltdowns, faced with the thought of sleeping alone once again… to someone who enjoys their “me” time.
Who is independent and quite capable of spending days and weeks completely by herself. Who, instead of bending over backwards, trying to make other’s happy all the time, is doing things for herself.
Pilates and lunches at expensive French patisseries and lingerie that costs more than my rent for the week and solo late night detours to cocktail bars just because I can. Because I want to, and because I have nobody else to answer to.
I remember when I first got dumped, my long-suffering best friend Sophia told me that I would eventually learn to love being single, that I probably needed some time on my own.
“I can’t wait for you to start dating and sleeping with different people and to realise that sometimes it’s even more fun than being in a relationship.”
I remember looking up at her, with mascara running down my face, drunk off my third bottle of pinot gris and thinking “Not going to fucking happen.”
But, Sophia was right, as she often is.
It’s been a long year. A tough year. A year of growth and life lessons and trial and error but I’m doing okay. I’m actually better than okay, I’m happy.
All on my own.
PS. For those interested, the movie I went to see was “Miss You Already.” Interesting choice for a few reasons:
1. I went to see it at lunch time on a Sunday which meant I was being recognised left, right and centre by tweens in groups of 5 or more. Whilst I’m perfectly fine with seeing a movie alone, I’m dreading the “DiD I seE U 2day at JAm Factory cing a MoVie by Urself?” Instagram comments.
2. It was a cancer movie. Featuring best friends and lots of mummy/daughter scenes and left me sobbing so hard, I lost a contact lens. So not only was I walking home with sunglasses on, hiding my tear stained face but I was also legally blind and probably almost got hit by a car or two.
Other than that- great film! Highly recommended.