Alone

(I am taking a 2 weeks break starting tomorrow. Hope you all have a wonderful 2 weeks.)

I used to hate eating alone in a restaurant. Sometime I would skip a meal to avoid the situation. I didn’t even like to have a cup of coffee in the coffee shop by myself. It was the feeling of not knowing what to do (other than eating, drinking), where to look that bothered me. I’d pretended to read a book, write a letter… Still, I was so discomfort that I couldn’t taste the food.

One day I decided to make a change. I forced myself to go to a restaurant by myself. I kept doing it until I was no longer worry about eating alone.

I still won’t go out of my way to eat alone in restaurants, but when I do, I feel quite all right now… I begin enjoying watching people.

Once in a while, I find the good old uneasy me in other people’s eyes. I feel sorry for the person, but at the same time, I can’t help but feeling joyful… of reconnecting to a good old friend.

Caribou1s

Caribou2s

Coffeeshop3s

And not alone…

Caribou3s

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About Helen C

A retired computer programmer who loves writing and photographing, and has managed to publish a YA novel "Jin-Ling’s Two Left".
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41 Responses to Alone

  1. loisajay says:

    Enjoy your two weeks, Helen.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Enjoy your break. I eat alone often. That’s why I bought a Kindle.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Amy says:

    A wonderful story. Helen. Some years ago, I started watching movies by myself. I recall, I was sitting there comfortably waiting for the show an elderly lady sat next to me, who was accompanied by her husband, felt sorry for me. She keep talking to me and tried to find out why I was alone… Now these days, people don’t ask to go lunch at work like we used to, I guess they (we) have smart phones or laptops a good company. What a change! When I travel by myself, I always eat alone at the restaurant. 🙂
    I love these photos, especially the first one. Have an enjoyable break, Helen! 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

    • Helen C says:

      Thanks, Amy. I haven’t watched any movie by myself yet. Maybe that is the next thing I should do 😉 I am also thinking that I should try to travel alone once… still trying to build courage to do it 😉 I think I would enjoy it, but that first step is always hard. 😉

      Like

  4. Mother Hen says:

    I can relate Helen, although I really like to watch people and it does divert me from the fact of being by myself. The biggest deal I have done alone was going to Chicago on the Amtrak. I loved it! You can talk all you want or choose to be quiet. I am not a chatterbox but did meet some interesting people and engaged in conversation, but I mainly took pictures. Enjoy your time away!

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Have a good break!

    I always find it interesting whether people enjoy or don’t enjoy eating alone. I hated it when I first did it – mostly because it was uncomfortable. But after years of being single, I got really used to it. I actually thoroughly enjoy eating alone now, and it has taken some getting used to always having the husband around when going out!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Helen C says:

      Thanks, Sarah. As a matter of fact my friend and I were just talking about this husband thing. Most of the time when we went out, our husbands were doing the drive, and as the time goes, it seems like we have lost our ability of driving. We think we should insist on driving the car ourselves instead of letting our husbands do it. 😉

      Liked by 1 person

  6. I love going out for coffee or a meal alone. I don’t know what it is. I just enjoy it. I hope your two weeks off are fun, relaxing, whatever they need to be…
    G

    Liked by 1 person

  7. treerabold says:

    I hope you enjoy your 2 week break!
    I spend quite a bit of time in coffee shops. I am able to write, blog, work with minimal interruption.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Helen C says:

      Thanks, Tree. Like I told Gemma… how I envy you guys! (I didn’t say that exactly, but I meant that 😉 It was a struggle for me for many years. Now that I’ve started enjoying it, I have no idea why it was such a struggle for me before. 😉

      Liked by 1 person

  8. Dalo 2013 says:

    I enjoy eating out alone every now and then for almost the same reason you mention, it is kind of fun to people watch 🙂 Your coffee shop shots are just the perfect reason why I enjoy coffee shops as well. Enjoy your two weeks ~ wish you happiness and relaxation.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Helen C says:

      Thanks, Randall. I do enjoy it now… after I learned how to watch people and take their photos. 😉
      Italy… has to be good 😉 I was thinking how you and other blogger managed to get up very early to take those wonderful photos. I wonder if I would be able to sacrifice a good sleep for one day.. just one day… I am working on it. Ha.

      Like

  9. Mabel Kwong says:

    Great to hear to you feel better eating alone. I love eating alone outdoors, don’t mind it at all. I can enjoy my food, savour it and take as many food photos without anyone getting in my way. Enjoy your two weeks 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • Helen C says:

      Thanks, Mabel. Deep down, I am wondering if this has something to do with self-confidence… I don’t know. I think our education (back when I went to school) had paid a lot of attention in studying science, but very little in self development. ;-(

      Like

      • Mabel Kwong says:

        I don’t know if eating alone has to do with self-confidence. I happily eat alone…but put me in a roomful of people at a party, my self-confidence plummets! And I studied lots of science and maths in school 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

  10. sunsetdragon says:

    Enjoy and see you when you get back.

    Liked by 1 person

  11. Jackie says:

    Enjoy your break! See you soon. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  12. I enjoy the solitude. Back in college, I started eating out alone because I didn’t want to drive all the way home and come back to the library to study at night. Nowadays, I enjoy a cup of coffee or a sandwich at a cafe and always bring a book. It’s a great companion.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Helen C says:

      We can always tell who feels comfortable and who doesn’t when you walk in a coffee shop, can’t we?
      I enjoy the solitude too, but mostly at home or shopping mall (walking in the mall), not in a restaurant. 😉

      Like

  13. Cee Neuner says:

    Have fun you two.. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  14. seeker says:

    Great post and photos. Now, you have tried eating alone and have enjoyed it, there’s no going back. It is a real treat to be able to do this activity alone when the world we live in is full of people unless you go to the forest, alone. Not a good idea. Yup. enjoy your two weeks and I hope you’ll have time to spend alone, Amy. Cheers. Perpetua.

    Liked by 1 person

  15. Coming East says:

    I haven’t gone out to eat by myself, for quite awhile, but your post makes me think I should. I have a couple of really nice coffee shops within walking distance. If the weather ever gets warmer, I’m going to take myself on a date. Enjoy your time off.

    Liked by 2 people

  16. P-house says:

    Helen – have a nice break! And I really like the people shots here… Nice variety.

    Like

  17. rommel says:

    I never understood the judgments or whatever the societal force or outlook on people eating alone. I do a lot of things alone and that most certainly includes eating. I have no qualms, no discomfort, no what-so-ever. 🙂 If I’m hungry, I eat. Maybe, I’m just too open-minded for my own good. Eating alone, or doing things alone, there’s nothing to it. I hope you did get used to or have acquired a newfangled look at things from this solitary experience.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Helen C says:

      Rommel, you have many great qualities that I wish I had – this is the truth 😉 But I am getting better and better, which is a good thing. 😉 Thanks.

      Like

  18. Cecilia says:

    I hope your two weeks were great and inspiring.

    Liked by 1 person

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