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Sloane Heffernan: Single girl in the city

Posted October 6, 2014 8:52 p.m. EDT

Giddy with excitement, that is how I felt. I was going away to Charlotte for a few days to help a friend with a project, and I was going alone! I told my husband that it would be like being a“single girl in the city," minus the dating, of course.

I set out for the Queen City where I would be staying at another friend’s townhome. She is a real-life “single girl in the city," who just happened to be on vacation, so I had the place to myself.

I spent the first day exploring the city. I didn’t make it until noon, before I started missing my family. Once I arrived at my friend’s townhome, it got even worse. I was terribly lonely. This “single girl in the city” wannabe was having second thoughts. This called for a glass of wine, so I packed up and headed out to dinner.

Eating by alone at a restaurant wasn’t terrible, but I missed having company. However, as I sat there in silence, I began to realize it was my own company that was making me the most uncomfortable. I wasn’t used to being alone. Between my job and three young kids, there is constant activity in my life.

The next day I tried to slow down and embrace the idea of being alone. I worked on the project that brought me to Charlotte, but I had the afternoon free. I got a mani/pedi, went for a run and had dinner at another restaurant bar. This time I enjoyed the silence. I felt more comfortable in my own skin. I wrapped up the evening by going to the movies.

I had never gone to the movie alone. Isn’t that crazy! It was liberating. I no longer felt lonely. I felt a stronger sense of self – and reconnected with a part of me that I had neglected.

It was a transformation that I wasn’t expecting. I’m glad that I had a chance to break away from “the norm” for just a few days and get reacquainted with the “single girl” I once knew.

Sloane Heffernan is a mom of three and a reporter for WRAL-TV. Find her here monthly on Go Ask Mom.