Tobias T–

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Alone at home in Lisbon

The last days have been a change for me. For the first time since a little over six years I did spend some consecutive days alone. In the last it was normal to get up in the morning and nobody was there. I was used to eat breakfast and lunch alone. If I wasn't going out with friends I could spend my evenings alone and it was ok to go into bed without someone around. I actually remember that I really like that.

I knew the last few days would be like that again and I was curious how it would be for me. Now that it's almost over, I can say it felt strange. I realized that I did not like it as much as I did in the past, but it was a good insight into myself.

First and foremost I realized that it is really hard for me not to talk. While I‘m used to be alone during my working hours, it was hard to not have someone around during the other parts of the day. The occasional meeting was a nice change to the quietness, but after all I was missing real interactions with real humans. I suddeny was looking forward to go grocery shopping.

I quickly decided that food would be my escape from the silence. I immediately had one restaurant in mind that would be excellent for testing my plan. It has excellent food, but it's casual enough so that I would not look like the weird lonely guy – that's what I though it must feel like. I was wrong. The staff was super nice and really nobody seemed to care about how many people where sitting at my table. Maybe the biggest surprise for me was that I actually felt pretty good. Being alone inside a place full of people makes you realize what happens around you. It makes you appreciate the food even more. Suddenly there are no distractions and one can enjoy the moment as it is. While I still prefer to eat with others, that feeling was actually much better then I expected.

If you have to eat alone, you can at least order a strawberry milkshake

As I discovered a new hate and love relationship with sport, another escape from the silence was the gym. I do not particularly like going to the gym in general but when I started, I decided that it's a necessary evil for my surfing. While doing the training with my personal trainer was great, the days going there alone where bad. While it was ok to do my training plan on my own, I did not like the newly gained attention to the world around me. Suddenly you realize the people there even more, the noises they make, the things they do and how they pose for everyone to see. I think if I would have to go alone in the future, I actually might quit. Lucky me that I don't have to.

Next one: surfing. If I am going surfing during the week I have to go alone all the time. Nothing new here, but it somehow felt weird as well. Usually my girlfriend knows when and where I’m surfing. If I change the place or when I’m done I can let her know. It gives me some kind of safety. Let's knock on wood that I’ll never need that, but not having it felt not good. Still, while going into the water was a little awkward, surfing itself felt was great as always. It really seems to be true that you leave all the stuff that makes you tick at the beach. The good and the bad. It's magic.

The signs you see when you are going to surf just after a tropical storm hit the shore

What about all the rest? Working felt the same. Most likely that's because I’m really used to that. I did plan to go to a coworking space during these days, but I was just to busy to think about that. I guess that's a good thing. The occasional entertainment through games, watching a surf contest, searching for something to watch in a streaming platform of your choice or just read a book or random internet articles where the same as always. Except that I had to decide alone when and what exactly to do. In the long run I guess it might really narrow the things I do as it's the most convenient to pick the things you are interested in. I’m really looking forward to have to talk about the things I want to do. Listen to the things others what to do and maybe enjoy new things. It simply feels better like that.

To come back to the initial point that I liked being alone, I guess habits can change. That's a great thing to know and we all should embrace it. We are the people we are because of the experiences we made. For me this couple of days have been a great experiment, but I learned that I need people around me. Especially the one person I only can imagine to share my live with.

The sky above Munich

Now excuse me, the plane to Munich did land and I have to discover a city I've never really seen before. Luckily I don't have to do that alone.

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