So as mentioned in previous posts I went on two dates with myself this January. The first date was well planned but not so well executed. However, it gave me lots of lessons and I am glad I had it.
The plan was to start the date around 5pm by getting on a bus and going out to Sejong Lake Park to watch the stars whilst drinking some boozy hot chocolate and to get a wee walk in. I would then repair to Plan B, you know the coffee shop I always go to, for some art time and some tea until they closed. I was then to go home and make a crockpot meal plus try my hand at some baking as that is definitely not my strong point. And all this was supposed to happen on the Monday, 18 Jan.
Well, first off, it didn't happen on the Monday. I got distracted washing my hair and left it way too late to go out to Sejong. When Tuesday rolled around, ....
Instead of boozy hot chocolate, I brought this one in a thermos along with my book for the day: A Time to Kill by John Grisham. And while this was my first deviation from my plan, in the grand scheme of things it is the one that had the least amount of impact. I got to Sejong City and started to traipse down to the lake. Just as I got to top of the steps leading to the lake, an overwhelming sense of panic overtook me and it took all my effort to force myself down each of those steps. You see, being a city girl all my life, great wide open spaces at night don't exactly reassure me to the safety of an area. The Lake Park is lit with lights from the amphitheatre and some that go around the lake but they are quite muted in intensity. It looked dark and forbidding - perfect for seeing the stars. Not so perfect for walking around. Don't get me wrong, I like the silence and I love the stars but walking around a lake at around 6.30pm in the middle of winter is not exactly my cup of tea. I made myself cross the bridge and sit at the beach for a while and I started to calm down. Not enough to walk any further but enough to enjoy my hot chocolate and the few stars I could see peeking out. Everything was fine when I set off back to the bridge to cross towards home until I heard a shuffling. I turned around to see a man walking only a few feet behind me. While I doubt (now) he had any nefarious thoughts, I panicked, quickened my pace and all but ran back to the bus and home.
I think by the time I got home I was completely emotionally drained as the thought of doing anything productive slipped away. I crawled into bed and I slept for about an hour. I felt refreshed and more ready to face the rest of my night. I headed out for a simple meal of gimbap. I continued reading my novel while I sat and ate but afterwards I went to Plan B and I drew this picture:
However, when I got home I had no energy left to complete the date so I went to bed. When I woke up I felt like a failure and a fool but after thinking about it, I decided I was neither. First off, dates don't always go smoothly, do they? Some are complete disasters from the get-go and others spiral out of control. So, even if I am dating myself, I have to accept that sometimes things don't go smoothly. Secondly, I freaked out. Ok, that's a little uncomfortable but I didn't freak out about anything weird. I freaked out about being alone in a dark place in the middle of nowhere. That's understandable, right? So what did I learn: it's okay to say "no" if you are uncomfortable in a situation, even if that situation is with yourself. Also, your partner (even if it is yourself) should accept that "no". So my goal for myself is to not get myself panicked on dates with myself and to accept the "no" if it comes. I want to try and repeat this date at some point before I leave but I think I will do it earlier in the evening and that maybe I can be near the entrance as the sun sets so that once the stars peek out, it's time for me to go and not just arrive.
All in all, this wasn't one of my more successful dates but I'm glad it happened. It helped me to remember why safety is important and it's better to learn it now than while I am go on my first solo trip abroad (Korea doesn't count).
PS Title inspired by "Wherever you will go" by The Calling. The music video for this song featured the gorgeous Drew Fuller at the end, who was Chris (Perry) Halliwell on Charmed. Charmed is my all time favourite TV show. And that probably tells you way more about me than I ever wanted you to know!