It’s not so bad doing things alone. Quite often it is inevitable. The circumstances call for it and you have no choice but to do things by yourself. Other times, it’s the just the way you are – solitary, a loner, a lone ranger, maybe an anti-social. Sometimes you’re 23 and you’re in the process of knowing yourself and what you’re passionate about and you realize you have hobbies that none or only a handful of your friends share. In my case, it’s all of the above – the circumstances, my personality and my interests.

2013 was a year of being alone a lot.

I rode the plane and went to unfamiliar places by myself. I visited Cebu in January and got to experience Bohol last June. I shared the duration of the trip with friends save for the plane rides. Those were all just me. It was scary but I welcomed the adventure. I had no choice because my friends booked flights in advance and I decided to go last minute and had to pick cheaper flights. Technically though, I still had a choice. And I chose to push through even if it meant flying solo.

Less YOLO but still SOLO was the time I craved bagoong rice and went to My Thai to order some. I’ve eaten alone countless times but this was the first time I dined at a non-fast-food, non-cafeteria place without anyone else. Not having anyone to talk to helped pave the way for my eavesdropping the discussion of conyo high school kids lunch-ing beside my table. It was entertaining.

My love for film grew so much the past couple of years. Naturally, I had to watch the much-lauded local indies Transit and Ang Huling Cha-Cha ni Anita even if it meant watching them alone. Both were great. Transit is still among my favorites this year or EVER. My mother is not thrilled about me going to the cinemas alone. I understand where you’re coming from Mom, but sorry, you can’t stop me from watching Ilo Ilo soon.

Same goes for concerts. Well, I haven’t gone to one all by myself but I was supposed to watch Metric tonight but I can’t afford a ticket anymore. The National is coming in February though and I have a feeling it will mark the end of my concert-by-myself virginity. I’m already looking forward to singing alone/along to the band’s heart wrenching tunes.

Don’t get me wrong. It would be nice to have company in airplanes, cinemas, restaurants, during concerts, etc. I wouldn’t mind having a boyfriend who likes to travel, listen to the same bands and watch the same films or a boyfriend who is not a big fan of travel, music and movies but will go with me anyway. HEHE. Actually, scratch that. Me no need a boyfriend. I just want to meet more people in general who will share these experiences with me.

But I’m yolo-ing it with or without other people. I know this is not much of an achievement but it’s something I’m proud of. I’m okay being with me. Being me and loving myself though is another story and something I have to work on.

To end this, let me quote Rilke, whose “Letters to a Young Poet” I finished reading recently.

“Love your solitude and try to sing out with the pain it causes you.”

“Your solitude will be a support and a home for you, even in the midst of very unfamiliar circumstances.”

“What is happening in your innermost self is worthy of your entire love; somehow you must find a way to work at it…”

“If there is nothing you can share with other people, try to be close to Things, they will not abandon you.”

“Loving does not at first mean merging, surrendering, and uniting with another person… it is a high inducement for the individual to ripen, to become something in himself…”


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