This I Believe

Rachel - Carmel, Indiana
Entered on March 30, 2007
Age Group: 18 - 30
Themes: courage

One Ticket, Please

I believe in being okay with a party of one. As we go through life, there is so much emphasis put on having someone by our side. A table never has less than two chairs. A ride always has a double seat. Tickets for the formal dance are always cheaper for the ones who have a date. At times, the stigma of living life by oneself seems too overwhelming to overcome. People tense up at the idea of going to a movie by themselves, eating by themselves in the cafeteria, or being on the dance floor alone. But what is so wrong with being a party of one? Everyone worries so much about impressing others, getting to know others, and finding someone else to love them. People forget the importance of getting to know and loving the person they have come to be.

The idea of being alone and surrounded by a crowd of paired off couples always scared me, so when it came time for my high school prom the last thing I wanted was to buy a single ticket. However, it was the week before prom and I still had no date, so I decided to shed my insecurities and with a little bit of confidence, and a lot of pretend confidence, I decided to go to prom by myself. I convinced myself that it was not worth missing a quintessential part of my teenage life just because I didn’t have someone to put a corsage on my wrist, but when the first slow dance began and the rest of my classmates cozied up to their dates, I found myself standing awkwardly amongst the swaying couples. Instead of sulking on the way to the bathroom and then spending the rest of the night next to the punch bowl, I stood my ground and did not let myself stress over the situation. I grabbed my other friends who had come by themselves and started to dance around with no inhibitions. I realized that although my friends had their dates to share the night with, going solo gave me the chance to enjoy the night with not just one person but with everyone around me that I cared about.

From that night, I learned that I had more real confidence than I had imagined. More significantly, I now understand that the only thing that defines me is me. Now that I have left behind the familiarity of my high school and moved on to a place where I constantly find myself alone amongst an ever changing mass of people, I’m not afraid to hold my head high and be proud of the person I am.

It is important to accept yourself as an individual and to not always need someone else around you to make yourself feel whole. I have come to believe that the most important moment in life is when you realize you have the courage to fly solo and the confidence to throw your hands up and dance alone.