When I first moved to L.A., immediately after college, I spent a lot of time alone. It was a stark contrast to life in the dorms, which was consistently loud, cluttered and offered little room for privacy. I had my own studio apartment, which I loved, but since I didn't know anybody, I did everything by myself. I'd see live shows at Hotel Cafe, an intimate concert venue in Hollywood, catch movies at the independent theater across the street from my place and browse the flea market each Sunday morning. I missed having friends in the same city, but felt so fulfilled that I was content being so independent.
Last week I realized something: I hadn't done anything on my own in a really long time. One of the benefits of being married is that I always have a built-in partner to do things with. Even on nights when I have no plans, I sort of do - we open up a bottle of wine, listen to music, watch TV and read in bed. And all of a sudden, the evening unfolds into a casual date at home. But I've never wanted to turn into one of those co-dependent couples, unable to enjoy our time apart from each other.
So when G told me he had plans last Tuesday night, I decided to slightly revive my former life. Typically I'd opt to have the place to myself or go out with friends, but instead, I went for a walk and took myself out to dinner. I had forgotten how nice it is to spend time on my own. My senses were heightened and mellowed at once - I noticed the classical music playing from the house down the street, the warm stillness in the air and how good my food tasted when I wasn't distracted by anything else. A table for one was just what I needed.
It was comforting to realize that I still appreciate my independence, even if it's not something I take advantage of on a daily basis.