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Shannon Hooten
Retail Space & Events Manager

At the start of 2019, I set several goals. I’ll call them goals and not resolutions since we all know how those usually play out. Calling them goals has worked very well for me. I’ve met most of them and I’m on a mission to complete the last few before the year ends. One of my goals was to have more experiences. It’s very general and vague but I think because it was general and vague, it allowed me more room to experiment and to feel accomplished despite the size of the “experience”. Experiences could include traveling, trying new food, attending a workshop, going to concerts, etc. Basically, anything that didn’t involve sitting on my couch bingeing Netflix.

I’ve never been the type of person to go anywhere by myself. I used to think that going to the grocery store was unbearable without a partner and I would never have gone out to eat or to the movies solo. Who would I share the experience with? Recapping how good the food was or a favorite scene from a movie is the best part about going out. For most of my life, I have been perfectly okay with scheduling things to do based on the availability and interest of others. Until I realized that it was holding me back.

I learned early into 2019 that if I wanted to experience life on a new level I would need to learn to be okay with doing things by myself. I won’t always have someone who is interested in tagging along on my sporadic adventures or willing to spend money on something they don’t particularly care about. So, I swallowed my fear and preconceived thoughts on solo outings and went for it. My first dabble with dating myself was going to be the Trevor Noah comedy show in February. 

It took me a few weeks to get up the nerve to buy just one ticket. What about parking? What about walking downtown at night? All of these questions floated through my mind but I finally pushed them aside and made the purchase. I’d figure out the details later.  After the amazing show, I realized I didn’t need anyone to share the moment with me. I was perfectly fine with having it all to myself and it was kind of better that way. When I went to California for the first time a few months later I was challenged to go out on the town and enjoy the city instead of staying in my hotel room. I ended up spending a full day at a book festival, went to dinner (like, just me at a table!) and walked the Venice Beach Boardwalk, further proving to myself that I can do this.

Now, I don’t pass up opportunities that matter to me simply because they don’t matter to someone else. Sure, there are still times I ask my husband to go to the store with me (even if it’s a one-person trip) but when it comes to major events, I’m fine planning to go on my own. I even want to get to the point of purposely planning things to do by myself. There’s something about being the only one making decisions, the only one paying the bill, and having to watch my own back that gives me a new perspective on the way I live my life. 

MORTAR's events manager, Shannon, talks about doing what's important to you, and being unafraid to plan for one! #MORTARstaffblogs Click To Tweet