Shay Quin - Solo

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I’ve met many people that say they don’t like to do things alone. I wouldn’t call myself a selfish person, but I LOVE alone time. It’s one of the many things that I make time for. I think it’s important to have things to look forward to like ME TIME! 

 Pre-Covid I would take myself out on dates to the movies or to eat at a restaurant. If I was feeling social I’d sit at the bar, but normally I’d just ask for a table and enjoy my meal with a book. I have traveled alone quite often and I had a blast seeing all the sites at my own pace and timeline. Not to say that I don’t enjoy activities with others because I absolutely do. I find I budget my time between family, friends, myself and work.

 It doesn’t have to be a lonely experience to travel or do activities alone. If you’re open minded it is actually a great way to meet interesting people outside of your usual circle. 

I had a trip to Chicago for a wedding with a friend who had to leave a day earlier than me. I spent the day sightseeing and had the most amazing Italian food in Andersonville area at Calo. The restaurant was up the road from The Green Mill which is a historic cocktail lounge. I loved the ambiance of the layout and décor that is a tribute to the era. It’s small and can get pretty busy, especially the evening I went for the Poetry Slam. 

I sat at the bar and ordered a glass of wine. There were a lot of interesting performers, and I got a kick out of the audience snapping their fingers together when each bit ended. The girl next to me had the most amazing curly hair and had ordered a fancy drink and I made a comment about it that I don’t remember at the moment. 

The next performer was loud, and ran around the crowd yelling unintelligible language that made her turn to give me a look that I completely agreed with. We started chatting and became good friends. I see her every time I go to Chicago, and we check-in with each other throughout the year. She’s in a graduate program for engineering. Originally from Ethiopia, she took me to a popular Ethiopian restaurant and after to a great spot for dancing. 

I’ve been to Chicago several times since I first met her and we always try to connect. She’s met a lot of important people in my life, but we don’t talk regularly. Holidays and if I go visit, but when we get together it’s like we have known each other our whole lives. I have multiple connections like this all over the country. Everyone I meet is unique and my interests are so all over the place that I find it easy to find things in common with almost anyone.

Although I spent a portion of my visit being introduced to Chicago through the eyes of someone that lived there, the majority of my time was alone. Time for reflection isn’t a bad thing and there’s something about being in tune with what you want and not having anyone to influence your decisions.  When’s the last time you took some time for yourself?  

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