I do still feel lonely from time to time, but I’ve realized that I’m never really alone — there’s always someone around to strike up a conversation with. After being raised on a steady diet of Disney movies, I expected to meet someone and fall passionately in love — but wound up collapsing under the pressures of modern dating.
Luckily, I eventually realized that there's no "right" way to date, and that I need to find happiness within myself, no partner needed.
It started off as a very joyful season, being able to be part of my friends’ lives in that way. My heart became deeply discontent, bitter, envious.
I felt like I was missing out on all the fullness life had to offer.
The biggest test, though, came one night when I decided to take myself out to an early dinner.
I’d done this before, but I usually opted to sit at the bar so that I’d have people to talk to.
I had to let the Lord work on some extremely tender wounds to get to where I am now.I was surprised by how much I enjoyed myself, and just how nice it was to be alone with my thoughts for a while. A few days later, on my walk home from the subway, I decided to pop into the bar a few doors down from me, order a vodka, and chat with the bartender.It was terrifying at first, but the vodka helped calm my nerves, and I was pleasantly surprised to find that the other people at the bar were friendly and chatty. But after spending a good deal of my 20s alone, I came to realize that my reluctance to step through doorways first stemmed from a bigger fear I used to have: being alone in a crowded room.
Or worse, having people assume I was alone, and then feeling bad for me.I know that this is ridiculous, because no one really notices (or cares) whether or not a person is by themselves at a bar, or in a restaurant.But, for a good part of my life, my singleness was something I tried desperately to hide.Once, after a friend turned me down after I invited her to go see an exhibit at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, she offhandedly suggested that I go alone. I became a total hermit — I’d spend Friday nights reading, or scrolling through Tumblr, or watching Netflix.