Being A Party One Is My Lifestyle

August 4 — It’s a great day. I can feel it! I only just woke up and I’m smiling like an idiot for no apparent reason. Well, other than the obvious — traveling the world, waking up in Split, and feeling as free as a bird.

My appetite has gone way down due to the excitement and the heat. I don’t mind. Maybe it’s how I’ll shed the pounds I’ve put on in other countries. This plus walking around the city, walking up the 40 steps to get to our building and the 79 steps to get into our apartment. Exercise and fewer calories equals weight loss. At least that’s how I see it. Win-win!

Me and my roommate went out for breakfast at one of the local recommended places, Bokeria. She’ll be island hopping, which is what so many people do here, for several days and we wanted to do something on purpose together before she left . I think it’s funny and great how we live together and yet we’re having this type of “going away” breakfast even though I’ll see her again soon.

I ordered yogurt with fruit and granola, cappuccino, and still water. I’m trying very hard to drink water because I know I should, not because I like water. I couldn’t finish my food even though it was extremely delicious. What I did finish was my coffee and water. The coffee is full fat again and is naturally more filling. Still, I can’t believe I couldn’t finish the food. I can tell I’ll be losing weight this month in Split.

I’ve begun several different work projects and nothing has me as excited as finalizing my plans to visit Leo (not his real name) in Dubai at the end of September. Sometimes things have a way of coming together with ease. We’ve tried before to work something out and logistically it could have been done, but not easily or without stress.

Turns out our We Roam flight to Chiang Mai has a layover in Qatar. If you switch flights in time you get a credit. Sometimes, like in this case, it’s a complete break even! Instead of flying out with the group I’ll leave a day early, stop in Abu Dhabi take the bus to Dubai, layover with Leo for a few days, and then catch the same flights over to Chiang Mai as I would have originally. Leo will have time to get settled before I arrive and time on his own after I leave to enjoy his vacation. It’s perfect!

I’ve been thrilled all day and as soon as I finish my last call for the day I headed out to have drinks with some other Roamers to celebrate one of their birthday’s. The gathering turned out to be larger than I expected and it suited my mood fine. I was in one of those moods where I could dance in the street by myself and not care in the slightest what anyone else was thinking. A far cry from my former self.

Being alone is a lifestyle I had to teach myself. There were times I couldn’t stand it. I didn’t even necessarily have to be alone. Once I went to a yoga class by myself and I was completely self-conscious to the point of anxiety and tears. Eating out and going to the movies alone would have been cause for me to be so nervous I would vomit. I forced myself to keep doing it. Not to fundamentally change who I am but to remind myself I’m good company.

The single life, after 15 years of marriage, and being mostly an empty nester has a way of turning your life upside down. I wasn’t trying to fake who I am but I had to feel comfortable in my own skin, learn to enjoy being alone, and not wait for anyone else to have fun.

There is a very good chance I’ll be alone for the rest of my life so I had to face the facts. Plus, even if I’m not, I can’t wait for someone else to come along and complete me. I have to be a complete person on my own or else it wouldn’t be healthy. It goes back to wanting someone who compliments me not completes me.

What would I ever have to offer someone if I don’t take care of myself? I can only give from abundance. If I give to someone else what I haven’t given to myself they’ll get the best of me and I’ll be the one left wondering why I’m not happy. I refuse to put my life on hold. Waste it away in hopes of doing all the fun stuff after I meet someone. I can have fun on my own. Like tonight.

After dinner we walked around, visited other bars and local hangouts. Music was playing and I was dancing. Sometimes by myself. One of the Roamers in the group said he’d never seen me like this before. We don’t hang out much and this is only his fourth month on the tour. Most of the months I’ve spent working and going out very little. I told him I’m not always this way, but make no mistake I’m a party of one and it is a lifestyle. Soon after I would see a guy who was living the same way.

We walked into Sanctuary Bar and I immediately saw Marcos (not his real name) singing the song playing and dancing, just like me. I was completely attracted to him and once again I felt like a teenager. It’s been a very long time since I’ve been physically attracted to someone like this. The attraction was all superficial. I hadn’t heard him speak, I didn’t know what he did for a living, I didn’t know if he was smart, passionate about learning, liked to read books, nothing. All I knew was there was a guy who was enjoying himself. Not at all bad to look at either.

What was more out of character for me is he is younger than I am. I was hoping for about five years younger. Hoping unrealistically. Later I would learn he is 12 years younger! Instead of spitting out my drink and walking away I boldly told him how old I am and he didn’t seem to care. At all. He told me he wouldn’t have guessed it. In this setting I didn’t take it as a compliment. We have dark lighting and alcohol is involved.

He was sweet in a way I didn’t expect. We did end up talking about work, business, and travel. Turns out he is very smart. His travels have taken him to a lot of places including some cities in Northern California I’m very familiar with. We’ve eaten at the same restaurants, liked the same coffee shops, and despised the same traffic. Halfway around the world we were talking about my home and how I had recently been in his, Spain.

In the weird way that I do, I tried to keep telling myself I shouldn’t be talking to him and I shouldn’t be attracted to him because he is younger than me. It didn’t work. When he took my hand to put it in his I was even more attracted to him.

I thought hand holding was something only people in love did. A sign to others they were together and shared a special bond. It is a public display of affection. He’s not in love with me, nor I him. Yet there we were, holding hands like teenagers. I may be older but clearly I was the one learning something here. Marcos wasn’t ashamed or embarrassed to be with me and let others know. Sure, they’re all strangers to us but he’ll never know how special it made me feel.

I guess this is what happens when you meet another party of one. Sometimes the other person wants to be complemented too. We’ll never see each other again. We don’t know one another’s last name and didn’t connect on social media. After tonight we’ll never hold hands again and doing it now doesn’t change how we live our lives. This is our lifestyle and tonight two people who were perfectly happy to be singing and dancing on their own did it together.

My end of day gratitude:

  1. Finalizing my flight to see Leo in Dubai.
  2. Having Roamers to meet up with after such a great day.
  3. Holding hands with Marcos.

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