Another Thing Living Abroad Taught Me

Living abroad taught me how to be alone.

I’m writing this from my phone as I sit alone in Subway.

Before moving to Ireland, I don’t think I would have been able to just go to a restaurant, order food, and sit down by myself. I would have ordered the food and taken it back to my house or met friends somewhere or used the drive through. But I would NOT have been caught eating by myself in public.

Why not? There’s nothing wrong with eating alone. So I’m just sitting here enjoying my Doritos and diet coke. I don’t need the company of other people to keep me entertained. I have my thoughts and cookies. That’s really about all you need in the world to survive.

When I was in Ireland, I honed in on the ability to eat alone. I had friends but not a large number. We were spread across the city and couldn’t always go eat together. Sometimes I just really wanted fried chicken or Chinese or a good burger. If I couldn’t get in touch with anyone or they weren’t free, I would have to go by myself. It was weird at first, but then I got used to it. The odd looks from other people bothered me less and I began to enjoy the solitude.

It’s nice to be able to sit here away from work for just an hour and think to myself. I have time to read a devotion or blog or just relax. I live for my one hour away from everyone else. I yearn to be able to just eat by myself at Subway and not be bothered by anyone. People watching keeps me entertained enough, wondering why people dress the way they do or what they’re going through in their lives.

Eating alone is just part of being alone. It takes great courage to walk into a nice restaurant and sit at a table alone. It takes even greater courage to go through life alone.

I want to be a wife and mother, and I want the best friends a person could ask for, but sometimes life doesn’t give us those things. We have to learn how to go about our lives fulfilling ourselves and living alone.

When I first arrives in Ireland, I had no one. I was totally and completely alone. I started from ground zero in the friend department. There were many nights I sat on FaceTime with friends from home complaining about how I missed them and their company. Telling them about how lonely I was in Ireland. But it got better. I learned how to be alone.

I learned how to take care of myself and make myself happy. I learned that I didn’t have to rely on the encouraging words of others but the confidence in myself to be successful. I learned how to make myself laugh and comfort myself when down.

Ireland taught me more things than I could ever imagine. I’m still figuring out exactly what Ireland taught me. But of the ever growing list of what Ireland taught me, it taught me how to be alone.

22 thoughts on “Another Thing Living Abroad Taught Me

  1. This post kind of depress me. I mean, I admire you being able to enjoy eating a restaurant alone, there is no shame. No, I feel depress because I’ll move abroad soon, and I’m really scared to feel alone. I’m not sure I’ll be as strong as you.

    1. But that’s why you have us! Don’t worry about feeling alone, because we have all had those emotions. It is lonely, and it is difficult. I’m not gonna lie to you, but you’re a lot stronger than you think you are. Take it one day at time. And because you’ve already made the decision to go is a BIG step! There are many people who would love to do what you are going to do, but they don’t have the courage to take the step to decide to go. You’re already ahead of the game. 😉 Keep your chin up!

  2. I discovered the beauty of dining alone years ago, and now I love it!!! I’m surrounded by great people, but sometimes a lunch alone at a nice restaurant is all I need to recharge. It’s empowering, and I recommend it to everyone I know!

  3. One of my best friends has her “me time” by going to fancy restaurants with a book or magazine, and ordering a nice meal with a couple glasses of wine or prosecco. Since it’s only her and not her significant other or friends it’s not breaking the bank and she can go as fast or slow as she likes. I still struggle feeling awkward going places alone, but she has always inspired me to start.

  4. You might had to have some of your meals by yourself. But you were never alone. I was always there and I always will be, soulsister. <3

  5. This is wonderful … it’s such a good thing to know and so good that you learned it young. It’ll serve you well all through life. Well done!

  6. I totally relate to this! When I moved to New York City, I didn’t know a soul here. I ate by myself, I explored the city by myself. I learned to enjoy my own company. But things got better slowly, and now I have a pretty good social life here. But I still enjoy my own company too and need my me-time every day.

    1. I have a friend who recently moved to NYC without a job, place to live, or friends hardly. She’s had to learn all of those things, and I am so proud of her for it! Y’all are incredibly strong people!

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