It has taken me almost 26 years to put myself first and advocate for my own alone time. Don’t get me wrong, I love my partner and I enjoy the company of my friends but I also need time in my own space – specifically time away from all human interaction.
On this particular day, Ed and I had spent the best part of 8 hours driving to North Wales. We’d sung at the top of our lungs, debated the ins and outs of a Joe Rogan podcast, and navigated more than one hellish service station. At 6 pm we arrived at our destination; a beautiful air-BnB farmhouse in the Welsh countryside and while we wouldn’t be sleeping in the house (our trusty camper was parked outside) we planned to make full use of the spacious bathroom, sprawling kitchen-diner, and reclining armchairs.
Our friends were due to pull up in the next hour or so, and while my extroverted partner keenly awaited their arrival, I rushed to scoff down my dinner as quickly as possible so that I could escape to the safety of my snuggly van bed.
Past-me would have felt guilty, rude even, for sneaking off before the rest of the party had even arrived, but the new me knows when to put herself first. On this day the drive had completely taken it out of me and I knew that forcing myself to stay awake and socialize would likely ruin my experience of the rest of the weekend. So, I took myself to bed, lit a candle, made myself a cup of hot chocolate, and re-charged – it was blissful.
The next morning I felt rejuvenated, my mind was clear and my social battery was full – I greeted everyone in the farmhouse, we had a smashing breakfast and then we set off for a day riding the hills. Did anyone care that I’d gone to bed early – no. In fact, I think they respected that I’m my own person and I can do whatever the hell I want to do.