A couple years ago, after a bad breakup, I wasn’t doing too well. The usual stuff: I couldn’t sleep past five in the morning, food tasted like socks and my suddenly empty schedule was causing anxiety. I needed to do things, I decided, and preferably with as many people as possible, so I walked into the office of a coworker who’d always struck me as having his social life figured out. He listened to my story, then started writing bullets on the whiteboard. The third bullet threw me for a loop.
Do Things Alone, he’d written. What? Go to movies, he said. Go to concerts. Your sense of self worth shouldn’t be contingent on whether you experienced something with somebody else. In the end, it’ll be a different sort of experience — a different sort of afternoon, a different sort of trip abroad — but it counts just the same.