Eating alone frequently gets the same dazed response as solo traveling. “Isn’t it embarrassing?” “Are your friends busy?” “It must be boring!” “Uhm. I couldn’t.” Right? I mean why would you eat alone if you could bring a friend or two with you? After all, eating is considered to be a shared experience. Being a Filipino, it’s a shared ritual that is made to be enjoyed amongst friends and family, laughter, and conversations.
I grew up in General Santos, about 800 km away from where I am now. And I can still remember back then, I was really afraid to eat out alone. I always needed someone to be with me, because my younger self found the idea as too embarrassing. I wouldn’t go if no one would keep me company. That was back then. Now, as a young woman living in Cebu City, I learned to find comfort in eating alone. Over the years, walking into restaurants alone and finding a perfect spot come naturally, though I suppose that many still find it to look like something of an anomaly. I guess if I never left home, I wouldn’t appreciate how it feels so good to eat by myself.
Here come the stares.
It’s normal. I always get them especially when I go inside a buffet restaurant. But, it doesn’t matter to me at all because I’ll be damned if I miss out on a delicious meal experience just because of what other people would say about me. People tend to always take that sideways glance at you. I think (probably not true, I don’t know) a lot of them don’t really have the confidence to walk into a restaurant by themselves.
The Art of Eating Alone
I’ve learned to look forward to eating alone as I find it as an escape, a gift, a form of self-care. It’s the only time that I get to enjoy my own company, unwinding and introspecting. If you haven’t tried it, continue to read on as I share my experience on how I enjoy an alone time with foods.
Every time I dine out, it’s also the same time that I observe people around me. You can learn so much about them by just simply sitting and observing. I watch other people eating and the passersby. In these busy times where people are always on the go, you are there at that corner watching the world goes by – and I find this a great idea.
It’s the perfect time as well to focus on something that you write, if you are into writing. Do you need something to catch up? Well, go into a restaurant and journal your heart away. You can write about anything: past experiences, lessons you’ve learned, motivations, goals or any inspiring quote.
A day before our wedding, Joshua and I decided to eat alone separately. We gave ourselves time apart so we can write our wedding vows, and I loved how we thought about doing it. After all, there are things that are best done with yourself and by yourself, regardless if you are single or not.
Eating alone as I’ve mentioned is a form of self-care because you will learn more about you without you realizing it. I realize that if I badly want something, I just do it regardless if someone’s with me or not. So, if I like it, I treat myself out as a gift. Either I go to my favorite Japanese restaurant or try something new.
Out of all the times I ate alone, let me tell you, never did I regret it once. I am just happy that I get the time to be with me as I look around people with all their carried responsibilities. It’s the perfect time to be grateful, despite all the things happening around. You get to appreciate the moment, aside from the food. I know that a lot of people yearn for having a quality time alone, away from their daily rush and never-ending needs. Thus, eating alone makes me grateful and appreciative.
Eating Alone and Being Grateful.
I guess if I never left home, I wouldn’t appreciate how it feels so good to eat by myself.
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Cha of Little Misadvencha is a Filipino Civil Engineer, researcher and a fur mom. She came from General Santos City and finds that everything in life teaches her a lesson. She is inspired to write about and out of her experiences, but later found out that it was her experiences that actually inspire her.