How do you get lost finding yourself?
As I am writing this article now, at my favorite place ever…The Culver Hotel…which I will go into vast detail later. It is just a magical place, like Wizard of Oz magical..hint hint:)
I am having conversation with another wonderful woman who is “afraid” to go out on her own. She feels lonely staying home because she seems to not have someone available to venture out with. By having friends who work, or friends who have children, they just are not as free as she is. Battling with the “stay at home mantra” and wanting to just GET OUT! So again I am inspired to write about how to start this process of unwrapping the layers of fear of being alone and in public.
Co-Dependent to Independent and a solo survivor.
It started for me years ago when I was getting settled back in to my old apartment after a very traumatic relationship that ended equally horrific. So damage was done and coming off of 6 years of being super co- dependent on my couple status- I was in a new world. A solo world and beginning the journey to find myself again. The me that I actually liked.
Now nothing is wrong of course with being a couple, I am now in a wonderful and healthy relationship with someone who is opening my eyes to what life really is and means, experience over material things. Night and day Difference I will say from where I was…. did I mention its long distance;) Bless you FaceTime and Whats App.
I will also say, that I do have friends and they were so wonderful in my transition, but they have of course their boyfriends and fiancée, who have now turned into husbands. Lets face it, couples seem to stick together. So you adapt or die…not that serious, but it can feel that way when you went through a cut and dry change.
Long story short, It was time to pull it together Elisse!! It all started with a craving combined with the feeling of house arrest- I needed to get out. No one was available and after a few attempts to arrange a dinner or happy hour, I said ok elisse….lets do this. You want to get out, get out, you want to get a happy hour bite…do it!
Now, I had done the movie solo experience before. I recommend that as a starting point. It’s not so scary, just own it!!! Key Phrase there- “You have to own the experience and I promise it will grow to be the most addicting feeling of self-worth and control”. Its kind of in the same category of how animals, or bullies “smell Fear” don’t give it to them and you simply win.
I live in Los Angeles, more specifically, close to downtown Culver City. Culver City is on the verge of major take off and will give LA a run for it! For me, Culver City has been my guardian angel who has helped guide me back to who I deserve to be. She created a safe haven for me to test my new experience of solo adventure and plenty of places to get lost along the way.
Set with my new determination and massive craving for sushi, I did my google research and decided that going to a restaurant early, would be a safe start. Not super busy yet and I could still “appear” that I wasn’t going to be alone. (This “importance” of what others may think and see you as will fade away so quickly and you will be flying on cloud 9.)
Bless you Google. Sushi near me…. enter K-ZO in downtown Culver city.
K-Zo is Chef Keizo’s premier venture. With a mix of European cuisine fused with his traditional Japanese roots. Lets just say its wonderful.
As you walk in you are greeted with a Japanese greeting which I still haven’t figured out, but its charming and original. Looking around the venue, it’s a pretty sizable restaurant that wraps around the back to the sushi bar.
The location reminds me of the Room of Requirement in Harry Potter “ If you have to ask, you will never know. If you know, you need only ask”. For those who do “not” know, in the movies and the books It is a room that a person can only enter when they have need of it. Sometimes its there and sometimes it is not, but when it appears, it is always equipped for the seeker’s need.
K zo shares the parking garage with Trader Joes and is on the left front of the garage, hidden to the non aware eyes, but always there. Thanks to google and maps I discovered my own room of requirement:)
The vibe is a combination of smooth, moody and eclectic to me. The sake bar reminds me of a swanky new york secret bar. After assessing my surroundings….
Walking in to a restaurant for the first time knowing that I will be without a plus one and not knowing who will come in and sit next to me…. It felt like a slow motion movie shot…(working as an actor for quite some time and working of the other side of the camera producing I still see life as a series of movie clips and slow motion shots)
Int– K-zo Entrance
(Elisse, tall and blonde, fitting right in SoCal. Wearing her Go to boyfriend jeans and a white blouse, carrying her staple Michael Kors Backpack)
Working Title– The Bravest Lady there ever was–
Starring -Elisse Nielson as herself
Hostess : Hi, Sake Bar? For how many?
“We watch in slow motion as Elisse moves hair away from her eyes and pulls her phone out of her purse, for no reason what so ever, and looks up to the hostess and says…
Elisse : Just for one.
Yes It was that serious:) This is a heart pounding action moment on the inside!
I made my way over, sat at the far corner of the Sake bar. Took a deep breath and said “hello” to the bartender at the bar. I will say that K-zo has a phenomenal happy hour. It is every day from 5:30 (open) to 7:00 pm and all night Sunday- Tuesday at the sake bar and patio.
I will also say they have the best ribs ever! Yes a Japanese fusion makes Epic ribs. The fish quality is on point and the menu is vast. The happy hour menu is equally perfect. Ranging from popcorn shrimp, ribs to eel.
This is about experiencing the solo dinner outing. Since the first moment of venturing out, it has become somewhat of a blur. Finding a place that you feel safe and enjoy for what your needs are at that moment. Moment one was wanting to get out and have sushi and there were many moments after that involving that request.
What about football season!! I am a huge fan of football and really enjoy watching the game in a lively sport environment. I have times where I enjoy watching at home but something about being in a sports bar and people watching is just too much fun. I was stripped of my FootBall seasons in my last relationship…that should have been red flag number 1- Doesn’t like football…. So I was fixing that one real fast:)
I discovered in my Downtown Culver arena a sports bar that is extremely large called – Rush Street. In my attempts to be just one, I sat at a table in the back corner, which was fine but didn’t quite give me the same experience and I honestly felt more “alone” over there. Almost a singled out feeling, which I did not care for one bit.
I decided on my next football watching excursion at Rush Street that I was going to dive in and sit at the bar. It’s quite easy to get a seat when you are by yourself. Woohoo……perks!
Rush street is a mecca of a sports bar, always packed, open all day and night. They have a broad menu to solve any craving. But the best part about my solo excursions, you realize you really are not alone. You get to chat with your bar neighbors and bartenders and I can honestly say that the Bartender at Rush Street has become a dear friend. Outside of Rush!
The most amazing part about sitting at a bar and chatting with the patrons, you get to be the you in that moment, in that mood. Not the you your friends know. Not the “baggage”they know you have had or still carry. Not the baseline conversations you always go through. Just you!! Hopefully the new you! The version that is raw and unplanned and hopefully growing in the free feeling you have just found on your solo adventures finding yourself!
The wonderful “friends” I have met on this journey my past 2 years are friends that I feel know the real me. The me that I was and the me I will become. Friends that you forget don’t know every little detail about you, but you think you have had all these conversations. The feeling that they have known you your whole life. As my mother says and I have adopted… the same mothership….”We come in Peace.”
How exciting that is when you realize how close you are with someone who you forget they do not know all the x y an z about you that “made” your relationship with you other friends.
Again- you are you then and now…..finding yourself on the journey of getting lost is precious and rare. You will fall in love with yourself and your flaws while finding your strengths!
Play By Play recap
- Google : Do your research on a place that opens early, has a cozy bar and follow your craving. A place that has a low-key vibe is a safer start. Not a fine dining environment.
- Get Comfortable : Wear something that you feel good and relaxed in, you aren’t going on a blind date with yourself, you are going on a first date with yourself in your new skin! So be the you that feels the most relaxed and confident.
- Embrace the step : Be proud that you are going to reward yourself with a new and daring adventure. Hold on to that confidence and own it as you walk in.
- The key to owning it : Show no fear of others opinions and radiate confidence. The bar is a great place to start and simply say- I’ll just sit at the bar:)
- Order a cocktail or a tea to get in the mood : Bring a book or a note pad and keep yourself busy and distracted from the old you who is starting to freak out that you are alone…at a restaurant…. people are not staring! You are not the “rare enigma in a golden cage who eats alone” you are evolving into someone new and that is magical.
- Say hello! Say hello to your neighbor, your bartender and just go with the flow. I promise you will be shocked at how fun and easy and how much joy you will get from not knowing what will come next in conversation!
- I use this quote because it is so relevant here. “Have Courage and be KIND” -Cinderella- Key word is kind. I can’t tell you how many friends in my past have oozed judgement on others. Life is not about judging and sending negative vibes to someone different, who you do not know their story, as they do not know yours. Clean slate- be kind and have courage to be the best version of yourself. You don’t need to make a new best friend, but you never know how a simple hello can change someone’s day or even more surprisingly – change yours:)
- Enjoy– Repeat when necessary. I advise 2 times a week if you have a flexible schedule.
Enjoy it, Embrace it, and JUST GET LOST IN THIS NEW MOMENT OF SELF DISCOVERY
C’est la Vie