Don’t be afraid to be with yourself. Love yourself and be comfortable with yourself and learn to live with yourself. I know it sounds weird coming from a person who is engaged, has a job in the public eye, shares an office with a colleague, has a hyper pup, has wonderful friends all around the world, and has a loving family bigger than Notre Dame’s football team (including those who don’t dress for games), however, up until five months ago, I was virtually alone and on my own. I was lucky that my best friend lived twenty minutes away so we got to see each other every week (miss you, Suzie!), but then I had the other six days in the week (after moving out of Disney housing) that I had to entertain myself.
As someone who is outgoing and extroverted, you must be thinking it must be easy for me. I’m what you would call an introverted extrovert…in other words, I’m shy a lot, but when I feel comfortable I’m a little bit of a wack-a-doo. I’m so shy meeting new people, going new places, and standing in front of crowds to speak (yes, I do this at my job with people who I work with every week and it still rattles my cage). I’m envious of the ability of my older brother, Robert, to “not care” and just salsa dance with a chair in the middle of a crowded Disneyland because neither my mom nor I would dance with him. I’m digressing…my point is that you need to be comfortable with yourself in order to be comfortable (with yourself) around others.
I’m getting better…I’m actually writing this as I eat lunch by myself at Logan’s. I think it’s sort of a couple thing, too…I used to be fairly independent, liking to just drive around and sit in the park and enjoy the sun and people watching. I started dating someone my senior year of high school and we were in every class but one together, and we did everything else together, too. We spent the majority of our waking moments going to the beach or the movies with friends, but whenever he couldn’t come and my friends were getting together, I was more reluctant to go, even with friends, because I knew it would be more fun if the one I cared about was with me. That became even more evident when I went to college and Michael and I started dating…you literally could spend all your waking moments with the person you cared about, especially when you had the same classes…and living on campus meant working late in the 24 hour lounge with Michael, Christian, Lucinda, Wesley, Noelle…everyone…and you just get to spend all the time you want with your friends. (But don’t forget that college is about learning, too!).
My point is, I started to be more dependent on being with Michael to make me happy that I forgot how to just be happy on my own. Being back at Disney helped me to start getting out there again and hanging out with myself, but I did catch that sometimes I was going to see people, rather than just enjoy what’s around me…we had this discussion the other day amongst a few of my colleagues…the single guys are perfectly fine just going and eating by themselves and it’s the couples and the families that can’t eat by themselves anymore, even when you have to get back to work.
So, my long winded point is to love yourself. Especially with Valentine’s day coming up. Remember that you truly have to love yourself for who you are and enjoy yourself before you can make a strong couple. Yes, you can help each other grow strong, but the strong the individual is, the stronger you can make the other person, as well, and your relationship. Don’t be afraid to be with yourself. Love yourself.