Table For One Please

by Ashleigh James / Mar 14, 2015 / Comments

For the first time in 27 years I can honestly say that I enjoy my own company. Even though I've always been an independent and fairly confident young woman, I can admit to being a serial monogamist. Since the age of 16, I have had one relationship after another. Each offering wonderful short term satisfaction but non providing me with the fulfilment I craved.

My Mum once told me I'd never be happy with a man as I always wanted more. I started to think that way too, it was like a slow moving disease. I'd implanted the thought and it was only a matter of time before I lost interest. It took living on my own and finally being single for more than two minutes to realize that I'd been relying on another person to provide my happiness rather than taking that responsibility on myself. It is an unfair pressure to put on a relationship. How could I decide who I wanted as a partner if I didn't even know who I was or what I wanted myself? I lacked self respect and sense of self.

This realization, along with a heart break, started an amazing journey to self discovery. With the love and support of a beautiful friend, we set life, career and fitness goals. We started to work on ourselves from the inside. No matter how big or small the issue, there was no judgement. For once we were finding out how to put ourselves and our own happiness first.

One of the goals I set was to take myself on a date every month. I would often become restless in my own company or in constant need of a distraction and I wanted to change this. Over the months I progressed from solo cinema dates, to restaurant meals alone, to arranging a whole day of activities I loved to do. Although at first it felt strange and awkward, I eventually found myself needing this alone time and would excitedly plan in advance! I didn't have to please anyone else or make any compromises.

I would receive concerning glances from people next to me and even invitations to join their tables. I even had a student say she'd seen me and felt sorry for me. This made me realize that there must be something wrong with society if we pity those who are on their own. We have lost the ability to be on our own in public without being glued to our phones, plugged into music or surrounded by friends. We continuously have to be distracted and lack living carefree in the moment. What is so wrong with our own company? Then maybe we'd have to get to know ourselves and face our demons. For some people, this is too much to deal with.

This last year of personal development has been the hardest yet most rewarding year of my life. Spending quality time with myself has not only enabled me to satisfy my own needs, it has also helped me to find new passions which I am extremely grateful for. Once I was aware of my demons, I was able to work on them. I feel myself get stronger and stronger each time I face something painful or a weakness of character.

I am creating myself and all it started with was a little 'me time'. I challenge each and everyone of you to put some thought into your perfect date then go out and do it alone. Who knows, you may even enjoy it.

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The Contributor

Ashleigh James


Ashleigh has a strong background in business development, therapies and education within the health and wellness industry. She has been fortunate to work in the UK, Bermuda and Canada.

These fantastic opportunities have helped develop who she is, yet made her question what she wanted in her life. She considers this 'looking within' to be a catalyst for her awakening.

On her journey, she is working on herself by identifying insecurities and issues, particularly around self-worth, and learning to change her response to them.
She believes that this process raises her consciousness as she sheds old programming and belief systems.

Ashleigh feels this continuous personal evolution is part of the global shift in human consciousness.

She'd like to connect with anyone who feels this change and understands the potential we hold to help create a new reality.

Ashleigh is also the Owner/Editor of GEM Magazine.