Dear 100 Hour Board,
I recently moved to a nice city with lots of fun things to do--museums, parks, arcades, etc. In an ideal world, I would be trying out one of these interesting activities a few times a month with my friends and/or as dates with my boyfriend.
However, my desire to go do stuff with my friends and loved ones frequently ends up getting in the way of me actually getting out of my comfort zone and trying new things I'm interested in, due to scheduling issues (there's always the one friend who has to work weekends) or simply lack of interest (I occasionally enjoy baseball games; I'm pretty sure no one else in my local friend group does). Many times it seems like my entire social network would rather stay in and watch Netflix any time I suggest doing something like going out (bearing in mind that I'm only trying to get outside my comfort zone like, once a week. The rest of the nights I'm totally okay with just chilling at home!)
All of this is to say, how do I get comfortable with going out to explore the city/do fun activities by myself, without anyone to share the experience with?
-The Lonely Adult
There's a quote by Richard G. Scott that I love, where he says, "We become what we want to be by consistently being what we want to become." You may be asking how this is applicable to your situation, but I interpret this quote to mean that the only way we accomplish our goals is to just try doing them. It might take some time before you actually feel comfortable doing stuff by yourself, but the more you do it, the more comfortable you'll eventually feel. It might also help if you try to meet people while you're out and about on your own, and make new connections and friendships with the people you meet. The good thing about doing stuff by yourself is you get to make your own schedule and decide who to talk with, so it could be a really cool opportunity for meeting new people, and then you would have friends who also like doing stuff in the city!
Then again, maybe you'll try doing stuff by yourself for a while and you'll never really like it. That's okay, too. Maybe you could try to reach some sort of compromise where you don't go do stuff with your friends every single week, but once a month or something. Once a week may not seem like a lot to you, but it could be overwhelming for someone else, so try to start small, and maybe eventually you can increase the frequency.
This sounds like a hard situation to be in, but hang in there, friend. Things will work out eventually.
In my experience, the more you do things by yourself, the more comfortable you'll feel. The first time I went to a table service restaurant by myself, I felt totally awkward and self-conscious. Now I can do it and feel confident, because I've grown accustomed to the situation. I've learned to enjoy my own company and the experiences I'm able to have by treating myself to fun and interesting things alone.
That being said, there are definitely experiences that might feel more meaningful with company or a different perspective. When I went to see Black Panther, I really enjoyed myself, but I also found myself wishing I could have seen it with someone African-American, because that would be an entirely different perspective on the film than mine (that thought also got me missing Yossarian, but that's an entirely different can of worms).
However, just because you experience something at different times than your friends and loved ones doesn't mean you can't discuss the experience together. If you have a relative who enjoys baseball as much as you do, you can always call them and ask what they think about a recent game. If your friend who works weekends goes to see a play on a different night than you, you could still get together and discuss your thoughts. You could start a book club, and get together once a month without even needing to leave the apartment.
If none of those options work well for you, then I also find enjoyment in evaluating my own thoughts and experiences in depth, usually in writing. If I visit a museum or see a movie that particularly impacts me, I'll write about it in my journal, contemplating my own thoughts and exploring various perspectives as best I can. This helps me feel as though I've experienced that specific thing to the best of my ability, regardless of whether I experienced it alone.