It’s not too profound a story — I wanted pancakes, we didn’t have ingredients to make pancakes, so I went to the diner down the street from my house with a book and $10 and got a nice breakfast. When I came back and told my mom where I was for the morning she went, “You just went by yourself? Are you okay?”
I was definitely okay. Turns out, I really enjoyed it. I love food, and I often am too impatient to seek out someone who wants to go try a new restaurant with me, or after a few days of work and travel, I honestly just want to not talk to anyone for a bit.
What started as a one-off breakfast with myself turned into a regular way for me to thrive in my introversion. On any given weekend, after what feels like work and sensory overload, you can find me at a local diner with some pancakes and a book or notepad, or sometimes traveling to different cities or nature preserves to take myself on mini-vacations.
I get to focus on things that I love — food, writing, reading, beautiful scenery, singing in the car — and give myself the much needed mental rest of not focusing on other, more taxing things that I also love — achievement, deep conversations, planning.
So that’s why I’m eating alone — because I like to. It’s a real marker of personal growth from even recently when being alone equated to loneliness for me. Being able to enjoy introversion without isolation is a work in progress, and I’m happy to do it with a forkful of pasta in hand.