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I think everyone should eat in a restaurant alone at some point in their life.

I did this evening, at Slates Restaurant in Hallowell, Maine. The streets of Hallowell are full of charming antique shops and bookstores, an old-fashioned barber shop, and a local pub. The street lamps lining the main drag make me feel like I’ve gone back in time. Slates is a quaint place that appropriately fits this lazy little town. The staff is composed of kind middle-aged women wearing flowing linen skirts and dangling beaded earrings. The walls are decorated with local artwork, the lighting is dim, and the atmosphere is relaxed. To top it all off, the food is excellent.

I quite enjoy eating alone. It teaches me that I don’t need to be in the company of others every waking minute of the day. It allows me to sit back and watch others, observe my surroundings, and reflect. And, above all, it gives me the confidence that I can go out in public by myself and feel comfortable.