I was on my way back home from office, but something was different today, it was not the same as everyday. There was a cheerful smile on my face which was not going away, it was the smile which comes after you do an honest job during the day. You are tired after working hard, still there is an inner satisfaction which is making you happy. The happiness of meeting my own expectations makes me proud of myself. I am not making any one else proud, not my parents, not my friends, not my firm where I work, its for me and me only.
Finally I reach home, I observe the lights are off from the window, I realize my friends are not home. I open the door with the key placed under the doormat, switch on the lights and put down the bag from my shoulders. It would have been fair for me to let the laziness take over me, allow loneliness to lay its shadow on my smiling face and take away my happiness. It is always easy to miss friends, order something from the nearby shop as I always do and watch some sitcom, without doing the right thing, which is to make the most of my happy moment. Later when my friends come back I could blame them for leaving me alone and making me sad. By doing so, I am giving them right to take away my happiness.
The thought which came to my mind few minutes back, when I realized that today is something different, touched my brain again and made it easy for me to switch off the lights, close the door and gave me courage to go on a date with myself.
As I had already crossed the initial barrier, I was happy again, smile came back, my cheeks were glowing, may be not really but I felt they did. Positive thoughts started to take over and there was no looking back. I always knew that every individual spends most of the time in his life alone with himself and not his family, nor friends, or his loved ones. But its always a different feeling when you realize the fact you already knew, that makes you happy.
I was alone but I was not lonely. I was happy enjoying my own company. I was trying to remember the last time I had such thoughts and had an actual conversation with myself. It is kind of not encouraged in our society to eat alone, to walk alone or go on a vacation alone. They think a guy alone can’t be happy and they lay the impression of a depressed person on a guy like me. I don’t blame them, I pity them, they never had a chance to realize the true beauty of being with oneself and understanding what real happiness is.
I walked on, entered a restaurant where I had not been before. There were families, group of friends and some couples sitting there in hidden corners. There was not one like me who dared to date himself. This made me unique in the restaurant at least, and I walked over a two person table which was near the center of the restaurant and took my seat.
Families started staring at me, kids asking their parents why is that guy sitting alone there, does he not have a family. Parents don’t answer back and ask their kid to eat their food. I passed a smile back to the kid, even kid was going to smile back, before his mother scolded him not to look at me again. Couples were not happy to see me happy and enjoy my food, maybe it made them realize that they could have also been happy alone without being committed to their partner whom they don’t love actually.
I had a great meal, all by myself, I had the freedom to order anything for myself and not compromise which I usually do when I have company and they don’t like the food of my choice. These small things are important to note, as they will make me come back again. I don’t have to think twice before ordering a black current ice cream which I have never tried before, and go under peer pressure of having the conventional chocolate ice cream. As it turned out, I had the best spinach cheese omelette and chocolate waffles. I paid the bill, gave some additional tip because food doubled my happiness and left the restaurant with my head held high.
Smile was intact on my face, neither smell of a cigarette nor happiness of a couple could affect my happiness. I was looking at my table from outside the restaurant from the glass door, my eyes fell on the quote which I had missed because it was behind my back. It read “Happiness is not a destination, it is a way of living”.
I walked my way back, cherishing every happy moment I had today and sharing it with you so that even you can live the way I lived today.
I am not boasting about myself. It was a series of events which made me live such a day and make it memorable. It doesn't happen everyday. I know a lot of people eat alone, they do, I have seen them, but I have a problem with the sadness on their face. They have their happiness dependent on others presence and that is so tightly coupled that they can’t be happy alone. Some single people are forced to remain sad because they have been forced to believe in the myth of only being committed can make them happy. That need to change, such people need to change and the society needs to change. There are many ways of having a date with yourself, take a book, or a tablet, or your writing diary, but don’t close yourself down because someone didn't show up.
Your happiness is not dependent on anyone, its yours and only yours and no one can take it away from you unless you give them right to do so. Happiness is a way of living which only comes with practice.
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