I’m going for a run in the morning. Well, I say ‘run’, but given that I’ve not been out for nearly a year it’s more likely to be a short, red-faced limp around the park, but at least its a start. However, the most important part of the whole thing is that I am going to run alone.
I’m not very good at doing things alone. I like my own company when I’m at home, but when it comes to going out, I prefer to find a willing accomplice. When it comes to running, its in case I get mugged, get lost, have an accident, or more likely, just fail to maintain the necessary level of enthusiasm and just give up, go home, and curl up on the sofa instead.
But it’s not just when it comes to running. There’s a new exhibition at Somerset House that I dearly wish to see. I’m not even sure when it’s on, but mostly, the reason I know that I won’t get there is that I won’t find someone to go with me. My lovely boyfriend, who is quite often my partner-in-crime draws the line at Isabella Blow exhibitions, it seems! Even if I could find someone to tag along with, I doubt we’d be able to organise our diaries anyway.
I’ve had a handful of occasions when my desire to do something outweighs my fear of doing things alone. But mostly, and definitely when it comes to running, my fear of doing things alone keeps me from doing things at all. But waiting for someone else to share my plans, experiences, or even running habits means waiting too long. Exhibitions close, opportunities disappear, days pass. What I need to do is realise the bottom line: if I want to do something, it means I have to pluck up the courage to do it on my own. And it’s not like I’m a child – I’m 37 years old, for heaven’s sake. Why am I so scared the whole damn time? Well, sometimes, I’ve attempted to brave things alone, and it’s gone wrong. A particular example is the tech event I attended on my own, only to find that everyone else there not only knew loads more about tech than I did, but also knew each other. My nerve just couldn’t hold and I left, in tears, for the first bus home. Yet, the letterpress workshop, which kept me awake for two nights with nerves beforehand, was utterly wonderful, and a real highlight of my year.
This is in danger of sounding like ‘One is Fun’, the most depressingly named cookbook of all time (sorry Delia) but it’s not meant to be like that. It’s meant to be a call-to-arms. A wake-up call to myself. The truth of the situation is that I’ll never know how things will turn out unless I give them a try. And the good thing is, that if I try to be brave enough to fly solo, there will be no more waiting. As my theme tune says, ‘The Time Is Now’. So, self, it’s time to get cracking…