Confidence is a multi layered thing. Body confidence, confidence in who you are, what you believe in, confidence to do what you want, when you want.
I have come a long way in terms of confidence. Thanks to the plus size blogging community I found the confidence to dress as I always wanted, and in time, confidence to be more myself. Specifically, to be able to say what I think, share opinions on here, on social media and in general life about what I believe and am passionate about.
I have gone from the person who said nothing in a conversation to someone who has emerged as a feminist, political and outspoken. Some may say I have emerged out too much the other way, but I can only be who I am.
There are still things about my confidence and comfort level that I want to work on; one of which is something that I think a lot of people struggle with. I want to be able to eat out, in public, in a restaurant or cafe, alone.
As a fat woman, you seem to attractive the gaze of people when you are eating anyway, as they not so subtly check out what you are eating. A fat women eating alone will no doubt attract twice the stares and I am not sure I can deal with that.
But, I have a dream. I want to go to Barcelona on my own for a few days. Some time just for me, to be on my own, to explore a new place and do whatever I wish.
I am fine with flying on my own. I think that I would be OK spending a few days on my own in a new city if I planned everything so I knew what I was doing and where I was going; but it is the small matter of eating that is bothering me, and holding me back.
I want to be able to go into a cafe or restaurant and sit at a table alone, without feeling like all eyes are on the single fat woman. Although I have more confidence now, I am still not and probably never will be the kind of person who makes friends in a instant and ends up joining people's tables. So it will just be me.
Do I dare?
In my head I know what I would say to someone else who was airing these fears. To not let your fears rule your life. To take a book or a tablet with you for something to play with if you are getting nervous. To ignore any stares and not to imagine any. That people have better things to do in their life than stare at me.
I think that I could deal with breakfast and lunch, but going for dinner on my own? That is something I have never done before and to be really honest, the thought of it terrifies me. But I want to do this so badly.
Then the other thought enters my head. Am I strange for wanting to go away on my own? I have friends that I could of course invite but something in me just wants to do this on my own. I have no idea why. It is an odd thing to do? I have thought about it so much, I don't even know any more.
Any advice on eating alone in restaurants would be greatly appreciated.