I’ve come to find that often times, we treat our families, friends, and those we date better than we treat ourselves. We tend to put them and their needs, wants, and desires above us and ours, and that is almost expected of us. People are complex beings, and what is fun to one person might be overwhelming and anxiety-inducing for another. Some could spend all weekend out and being social, whereas others need to take social situations in stride, sipped like a fine wine rather than chugged like a warm beer. Those who thrive when being surrounded by others, and choose to spend their free time in as many social situations as possible are sort of seen as normal, and everyone else is expected to live up to it. But, I am here to confirm that there is nothing wrong with giving yourself some alone time to recharge and reboost. In fact, for those who are like me and get easily overwhelmed when surrounded by other people, it can do a world of good that nothing else can quite replicate.
There is this stigma against those who are introverted, and as long as I’ve been living it has always been something that one should not necessarily be proud of, and even try to change. But, I happen to love my introverted nature. For without it, I would not be half as creative as I am, nor would I be as observant and adaptable, and when it comes down to it, this introverted nature of mine is part of what makes me, well, me. I would not be a writer, I would not be as emotional or feel as deeply as I do. I wouldn’t change a single thing, even if I could. Nothing against extroverted folk and those who do spend all of their free time with others, I respect them and their wiring, so long as their is a mutual respect for me and mine. Without alone time, without time to think and recharge and spend time in my own head, I don’t function as I should. Then, once I have that time, I’m eager and excited to go out with friends, to go and do the best I can at work, to meet new people and be placed in social situations. But, I do need that time. Unless someone has the same nature, this is often times something that most people don’t understand. It can be seen as selfish and self-centered, as lame or being a bad friend to decline or cancel plans in order to spend time alone. Some might go as far as to argue that isn’t normal, that something is wrong with you, but I promise there isn’t.
We can’t spend our life pleasing others and not pleasing ourselves, putting our needs on the back-burner in order to appease other people does nothing for no one. If we don’t put ourselves first, and show ourselves the respect and love that we deserve and crave, then no one will. The minute we start putting ourselves first, regardless of what others might think or tell us, is the minute that we start living a better life and work towards bettering ourselves. By doing so, we are telling ourselves that we are worth it, and we deserve to feel loved and respected and taken care of, almost as though we’re whispering much-needed positive affirmations in our own ear. We set the standards for how others should treat us with how we treat ourselves, and as the expression often goes, we accept the love we think we deserve. I happen to think that a lot of us deserve a lot more love than we’ve ever given ourselves, and that is something that I have made a personal mission to change.
So, go ahead and cancel plans if needed. Spend tonight with a cup of frozen yogurt, drown in a sea of soft blankets, and watch another season of The L Word. Go and explore the city, and do so alone, going where you want to go, doing what you want to do, completely on your own accord. Grab a bottle of wine, a bath bomb, and a face mask, and spend the night at home pampering and watching old movies. Go the movies alone, go on a mini solo shopping spree, do whatever it is you need to do to show yourself some love, and don’t dare feel shame for doing so. There is no guilt in loving ourselves, and doing things that make us happy, giving ourselves some tender love and care, and putting ourselves as a priority, right alongside everyone else. In fact, it is something that not enough of us do, and something that everyone should be doing more often.
Yes, I love those who I am blessed enough to call loved ones, I have some of the best friends a human being could ever ask for and I will forever make them a priority, and work to be as good a friend as I can possibly be. I want to show them love, and nothing but love, full-fledged and unconditional support, no matter what. But, I also want to do the same for myself. I want to show myself love and nothing but love, to feel supported and prioritized, and believe it or not, it is quite possible to do both. I love spending time with them, and often times after a long week of working two different careers, one of the things that I look forward to is seeing and speaking to them, spending time with them, going out with them. But, another thing that I also look forward to is spending a day of the weekend writing in a cafe, overlooking the city and watching people go by, observing everything and taking the entire world in, alone. I look forward to nights alone, spent watching documentaries and favorite films, and recharging for the week ahead of me. From this moment on, I am going to ensure that I am making myself a priority, alongside everyone else- and I won’t apologize for that.