Did We Do Any Learning? [4]

 

know thyself

 

A Small Sacrifice to Make

I love December. Although I miss the sunlight of the longer summer days, I try to embrace the darkness of winter, because it forces me to re-focus; focus on me, my life, my house, my work, my family, and my friends. I see this month as an end and a beginning, a time to evaluate the past year and to think about the future.

This year has been very emotional with some considerable lows and some exhilarating highs. I fell for the wrong guy and was faced with the task of mending the pieces of my broken heart.

The most important thing I have learned this year is twofold. I saw a quote, I can’t remember where, but thankfully, it stuck in my head and in my heart: “Be strong enough to let go and be patient enough to wait for what you truly deserve.”

Repeating this mantra over and over gave me strength to make choices and say goodbyes that aided my wellbeing. It helped and is still helping me feel and truly believe I deserve the kind of stuff for which patience is a small sacrifice to make.

 

Gertie Janine Fransens makes her home in Amstelveen. When not working or enjoying books, movies, and music at home, she likes to go out, have a drink, get to know new people, and dance like nobody’s watching.

 

Table for One

The wind whipped my hair as I walked along the alleys of the Centrum. I smoothened my hair before I pushed the door open.

Poised, I said, “I have a reservation for two . . .”

“This way please.”

Twenty uncomfortable minutes followed.

The text came in after I sat: runin late b dere in 5.

When the third waiter asked if I wanted to order; if someone was joining me, I answered, “Yes, they’re coming!” and reminded myself to take the edge off my voice.

I refused to lose myself in Khalid Hosseini’s, And the Mountains Echoed. I refused to “smoke” my 21st century “cigarette,” that is, play with my smart phone. I sat, elbows off the table, admiring the oriental décor in the cozy setting. I played the which-couples-are-dating-married-fighting-game; and then watched the long and short hands of the clock.

Because I didn’t fill the void, (to prove what exactly?), I felt as though every eye was on me, every conversation was about me; my aloneness fingered with naan bread, forked and knifed with lamb tikka masala, and spooned with kulfi.

I had heard about a restaurant in Amsterdam, EENMAAL, billed as the first one-person restaurant in the world, and an attractive place for temporary disconnection. I had scoffed at the idea. Wouldn’t people rather eat alone in a normal restaurant? As I sat by myself, trying to be brave, I ate my words.

I write alone.

I create alone.

I think alone.

I can shop alone.

I can travel alone.

I can go to the cinema alone.

It catches me by surprise; I cannot eat dinner alone in a restaurant.

I am not as self-assured and independent as I thought I was. And, it’s okay.

 

Timi @ livelytwist

 

Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Timi Yeseibo and livelytwist.wordpress.com with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

 

 

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49 thoughts on “Did We Do Any Learning? [4]

  1. I am not comfortable being in a movie theater or at a restaurant alone, I take my movies from redboxes or library home to watch, sometimes am blessed with company at home, sometimes I must voyage out to meet someone for a movie. I have only gone to two movies along, Les Miserables (since my last divorce) and long ago, another movie, I could not find anyone to go with, A Chorus Line. Maybe it’s not me, it’s musicals… smiles!

    Like

    1. Hi Robin, thanks for sharing. I think it’s important to know what we are comfortable doing and what we are not; which boundaries we want to push, and which we do not.

      You’re terrific; yeah, maybe it isn’t you 😉

      Like

  2. I have never really understood why society has issues with people having dinner alone. I can not count how many times I have had dinner alone, sometimes even dressing up just to take myself out. However, I guess I would feel self-conscious if someone stood me up. It would be as if everyone in the restaurant thinks that my date had something better to do than join me. I hope you are not stood up again – it sucks (as my younger friend says).

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    1. It’s a couples world out there in general. In my case, I think my insecurities stemmed from within; I’m not sure anyone said or did anything ‘funny’ and the waiters, well they were just doing their job 🙂

      My date showed up twenty minutes late. I guess there was a part of me that wanted to shout, “See people, I’m not alone!” 😉

      Thanks for sharing.

      Like

  3. you know people have an ish with a person been alone. they crowd ur space and you begin to miss ur alone times. But you know that there is a thin line between lonely & alone. *sighs*

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    1. I understand. I guard and cherish my ‘me’ times so I can be productive and nicer to the world. Yes, loneliness and being alone are two different things. Is the line between them really thin? 😉

      Like

  4. Knowing when to let go and having the patience to wait for what I truly deserve are, perhaps, the key lessons I learnt this year, again. I have had to learn, un-learn and re-learn these lessons. So, after the last time I ‘let’ the wrong guy fall for me (not that I didn’t do any falling myself), after I crushed our hearts by taking responsibility and walking away, after I decided I can live and laugh and love again, I chose to wait. I want to wait for what I know now that I truly deserve. Do I like waiting? No, not quite. But as Gertie says… It’s a small sacrifice to make.

    Thanks G, and you too T!

    Like

    1. Way to go Christy! Sacrifice, a loss or something you give up, usually for the sake of a better cause; isn’t easy. I wish you strength as you wait.

      Lol@ I ‘let’ the wrong guy fall for me, (not that I didn’t do any falling myself) . . . 😉

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  5. “I refused to smoke my 21st century smoke – that is play with my smart phone.” I just LOVED that. And on the whole the raw honesty and emotion portrayed was beautiful. I remember watching the one-person restaurant on television and thinking how intriguing the concept what. I imagine everyone dining there to be totally comfortable in their skins. To be content with who they are. That’s something else. But for me, eating alone is a big deal. I feel you.

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    1. The restaurant is a unique concept and diners won’t feel conspicuous as I did, still, not for me . . . and you 🙂 When I want “temporary disconnection” I tend to walk.

      @smart phone, glad you did. I didn’t want to use a crutch . . .

      @raw honesty and emotion, you make Gertie and me smile. Thank you, Nida

      Like

  6. Hi Timi. You know, I really value my alone time. One thing though, that I don’t do alone, nor would like to do alone, is go to the movie theatre. That is something I definitely prefer to do with someone.
    🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Haha 🙂 Thanks Rotimi.

      Writing this got me thinking, why do I go out to eat? For company and good conversation. And the food. Perhaps this is true for others as well, which would maybe explain why restaurants have tables for two, three, four, etc.

      Sometimes, I grab a book, or my laptop, head out, and do tea and muffins solo. But that’s not what this is about 😉

      Like

  7. Hey Timi, I appreciate the vulnerability. I don’t have much to add to this poignant page out of your year except that you won’t have to do gymnastics (not that that’s what you said) of any kind or be anyone other than your amazing self with the man who is smart enough to want you and capable enough to hold onto you.

    Love,
    me

    Like

    1. @ gymnastics XD

      “. . . smart enough to want you and capable enough to hold onto you.” I like the sound of that.

      It’s been an “amazing” year. What a privilege to share the journey with fellow travellers like you!

      Like

  8. I believe every relationship brings something to the table, even if it is only wisdom.

    I like the alone versus lonely statement. They are two different animals. I think it is important to be comfortable being alone with yourself. –Curt

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  9. Though we came alone…We never wanna walk alone.
    Nobody should anyway, not if you’ve tasted the delight of companionship. Not so, if your teeth are on the edge as a result of biting what you’re not to chew.

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  10. Being alone is hard if we feel “conspicuous.” When I’m alone, I . . .

    (a) chat with those around me
    (b) wear my invisibility cloak so I can watch “them” unobserved
    (c) hide behind the potted plant
    (d) intone “I’ll never see these strangers again so what they think of me does not matter.”

    And there is a difference between being alone when you WANT to be alone (to create, shop, think, write) and being forced to be alone unexpectedly when you planned to be with a friend.

    Like

    1. Good options for anyone who finds themselves unexpectedly alone, Nancy. What colour is the invisibility cloak? 🙂

      “Conspicuous,” hmmm. I usually ‘hide’ (forget the world around me), behind a book or my phone, but chose not to. It was tough sitting opposite an empty chair.

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      1. ‘I write alone.

        I create alone.

        I think alone.

        I can shop alone.

        I can travel alone.

        I can go to the cinema alone.

        It catches me by surprise; I cannot eat dinner alone in a restaurant.

        I am not as self-assured and independent as I thought I was. And, it’s okay.’

        well i think this could also be my story. sometimes we’re certain we’re good in an area but we’re not totally good in it once we find ourselves in some scenarios

        Like

  11. Being strong enough to let go seems to be a recurring message on WordPress. I think that it’s such wonderful advice, but not always easy to do. I haven’t been to the movies alone for awhile. I loved to do that. It was ‘me’ time and there were no interruptions.

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    1. @ a recurring message on WordPress, maybe because as you allude, it isn’t always easy to do. If we hear it often enough . . . 😉

      I hope you get some ‘me’ time soon. No interruptions (and no sharing my popcorn), make going to the cinema alone fun sometimes.

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks, Alafia, for me it was quite shocking too. Being able to appreciate long term fulfilment versus short term is not one of my best traits 😉

      Like

    1. Ah, patience . . . a thing you only acquire by waiting, aargh 🙂
      Thanks to Gertie for sharing.

      “Being alone is okay . . . But being lonely is another story…” True. Loneliness, a condition that exists even in the midst of people.

      Like

  12. Hi Gertie, thank you so much for sharing. I suppose, like you, many people know what it’s like to fall for the wrong guy/girl and the pain of moving on.

    I don’t like waiting, but life has taught me patience. I am beginning to see that time is my friend. A small sacrifice to make . . . indeed.

    Like

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