Because it’s OK to go on Ferris wheels by yourself

There are plenty of reminders in this world to remind a single gal that she doesn’t have a fella.

Like when you confirm that she only wants to buy one ticket for something.

Let’s be honest: I’m a hopeless romantic. It’s why I always wanted my first kiss to be in a gazebo (didn’t happen). It’s why “Love Story” has been my ringtone since 2008 and why my favorite song on TayTay’s new album is “New Year’s Day.” It’s why Christmas lights make me happy and why I’ve always wanted to go on one of those horse-drawn carriage rides through the streets of Highland Park in December when it’s cold enough weather to cuddle. It’s why I still want my dramatic “I love you” declaration in a parking lot in the pouring rain with a kiss to seal the deal. It’s why romcoms are my fave. It’s why fireworks make me smile.

And it’s why I love Ferris wheels.

I understand they can be fun rides for friends to enjoy together, but if you’re a fan of The O.C. (and probably other TV shows and movies), you get it. Whenever I see a Ferris wheel, I inevitably have to ride it—even when I’m flying solo. (I don’t think I’ve ever actually ridden a Ferris wheel with any guy ever, so keep your fingers crossed that it happens one day.)

There’s a Ferris wheel at the Irvine Spectrum Center, and my sister and I went on it together when we visited back in the summer. Over the weekend, I went to that area of town for the first time since I moved out here, and I couldn’t resist forking over $5 to hop in a little gondola and go in a few circles.

When I went to purchase my ticket, the following conversation ensued with the young buck behind the counter.

Me: Hi! Can I have a ticket for the Ferris wheel, please?
YB: Just one?
Me: (trying to ignore slightly snarky and sarcastic comments running through my head) Yes, only the one.

Ready for takeoff on my solo Ferris wheel ride

I know the kid didn’t mean anything mean by double-checking that I didn’t need more than one ticket, and maybe it’s protocol to verify there will not be more than one person in the gondola (I think each one seats five or six people), but it’s one more reminder that I do most things alone—even the ones that I really would prefer to do with the homeboy who falls in love with me (if that happens).

As I was on that Ferris wheel, when it stopped when I was at the top, I thought about how it’s important to do the things that matter to you and the things your heart knows you need to do, even if you end up doing them on your own. I may be single forever, but I don’t want that cause me to miss out on some really great adventures simply because I wasn’t willing to do them alone.

The day before my Ferris wheel ride, I had gone up to Los Angeles for a bit and then stopped at Venice Beach before I went home. I’ve always heard about that place but had never been, so I thought I’d see if all of the hype was legit. I’ll tell you one thing: It’s a great place for people watching. There were a lot of couples out there, and there were also a lot of people on their own who were doing their own things.

I went on a pretty long walk on the boardwalk and saw a variety of interesting happenings, including a couple of setups that appeared to be people shooting scenes for their future films (I didn’t recognize anyone, so maybe they are hopeful filmmakers). Did I get offered some marijuana by a guy with dreads sitting on the curb? Absolutely. Did some other guy standing near a tent encourage me to “come here for a second”? You bet. (Good news: I declined both offers.)

That little adventure out there was a good reminder of how different and unique we all are but also that we all need love. It was an adventure I needed.

When I was walking toward the Ferris wheel the following day, I saw a little boy wearing pants and no shirt who was running around and dancing in one of those splash fountain areas that many kids love. I was a little surprised because it was only in the 60s, and running through water seemed like a horrible idea to me, but he didn’t seem to mind. He looked like he was having the time of his life, and he was putting smiles on the faces of all of the people who walked by, including me.

That’s how I would like to live my life—so passionately enjoying those moments that make you forget about any of the bad things that might happen (like being super cold and wet) and simply dancing through the adventures.

Even if you’re dancing alone.

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