I went back and forth in my mind for days.

None of my friends can go. None of my friends want to go. Do I even want to go? Enough to go alone?

You see, I’m the kind of person who does things with other people. Don’t get me wrong, I love being alone. I need it, in fact. But I’m usually alone at home, or alone on a business trip, and every once in a while for personal travel. Events and activities are meant to be experienced with friends. It’s only on rare occasions that I pop into something public not recognizing a single face in the room. To some people this comes naturally, but not to me.

And conspicuously missing is that “automatic” person to be by my side for things like this. Who does something with me because I want to do it, and vice versa. Exiting a relationship is tough as it is, and situations like this can have a tendency to make you all the more aware of and uncomfortable with being alone.

So we’re back to my dilemma. I really wanted to see Ricky Martin.

I know what you’re thinking. Of all performers. I’m even chuckling to myself as I write it. He reached his peak popularity in the U.S. about 15 years ago. Why now?

Some Background

On our recent trip to Puerto Rico we were reintroduced to the legend that is Ricky Martin. He was releasing new music and his mug was everywhere. One day we learned that he had rented out the entire adventure park where we were zip lining, and we happened to see him in his Land Rover on the grounds (he waved to us). Then we saw him again in his car at the resort where we were staying, where he has a house. We also may or may not have figured out where he lived and done a couple drive-bys in our golf carts.

After this series of sightings, we decided one night to play his music as we were eating dinner on the roof of our vacation rental. Before we knew it we were all dancing and singing. We spent that night rediscovering the songs of our adolescence and basking in nostaglia. I had forgotten how catchy his music was. For the first time I thought that I might like to see this guy live.

It may sound strange, but I think of Ricky Martin as my “Spirit Bear” of 2016 (I had an actual “spirit bear” last year in Yosemite – more on that in a future post). He is the person who has popped up randomly in my life, probably for no apparent reason, but that I find to be rare and exciting and strangely comforting.

Back to the Concert

Fast forward to the morning of the concert. I was still torn about whether I should go.

I thought to myself, if I had a friend to go with, would I have already bought tickets?

Yes.

So then what’s stopping me? The thought of being at a public event alone?

The realization hit me that I couldn’t let myself keep myself from doing something that I wanted to do. Even if I might feel a bit awkward. How silly! I was going. Who cares if I’m alone?

So I went. I took a bottle of wine, some homemade trail mix, good cheese, and a picnic blanket. I chose to hang out with myself, and it was great.

Amazingly enough, once I was there, I lost my sense of self consciousness. The weather was perfect, the breeze was enveloping me, I suddenly I didn’t care that there were hundreds of people around me. They didn’t seem to care either. My worries had all been in my head, and the reality was that it was a completely comfortable experience.

Ricky Martin opened the concert with the statement, “I’m here to have a really great time. Are you going to allow yourselves to have a really great time?”

He was speaking to me.

I sang and danced like nobody was watching. Limbs everywhere, singing at the top of my lungs, the whole bit.

We had the best time, me and Ricky.

Here’s the point: I encourage you, whatever may be holding you back from doing something that would interest you, let it go. Shake your bon bon. Live la vida loca. Whatever it is, give yourself permission to hang out with yourself and have a good time. And don’t second guess yourself because of what others might think, like I did. It doesn’t matter what you may be doing or who you may be seeing in concert. Choosing to hang out with you can be really energizing. It can be exactly what you need.

Why I went solo to a Ricky Martin concert, and you should too

One pro of going alone: I got to use all the space on the blanket to dance.

Are you like me, usually going to events with friends or loved ones? Or do you routinely rock your independence? Let me know in the comments!

 

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