The Fortress of Solitude

Hi, Hey, Hello!

This post seems oddly timely to be honest given that it is the Christmas season and this seems to be the theme of this time of year. The theme is being sociable.

I’m not awful at, well I am, but I’m better at it than I was. Mainly as long as there is at least one person that I know knocking about within my eye line. I’m pretty terrible at it.

The main reason being that I find it exhausting. Like well and truly exhausting. Which brings me on to the prompt that inspired the rather dramatic title: Do you need solitude?

The short answer is, yes.

More than anything.

I need to pull the hell back and just be by myself. Not 100% by myself, because I live with my parents and I have a dog. But by myself enough that I don’t need to be on for a little bit.

Last week I was at drinks with a whole bunch of strangers and it was fine. It was nice. I had a good time, but after about 45 minutes I was just hit by a wave of tiredness and needed to just back up and re-set. So I migrated back with people that I know and ended up extending my sociable time and then I migrated back to the place where I truly shine, which is being by myself, with my headphones in and going about my commute home. And then I’m home and I get to just laze about on my laptop and watch TV and truly switch the hell off. And then eventually I burrow under my duvet and things settle again.

Then the following day I completely forgot that I had a prior engagement and had to be sociable again and to be honest I really wasn’t up for it up until the point I was making my way there because I mainly wanted to just get home, eat a massive bowl of pasta and start watching The Crown. But again, it was fine. There were no strangers involved so that was an element that was eliminated from the equation, and it was fun. There was vodka jelly involved it was great. But there was something incredibly satisfying about getting home to no one but my dog, having a shower and sitting on my sofa with no intention of leaving my house again until Monday morning when I had to leave for work. And eating all the pasta. And finishing up Westworld.

It’s not even that I like being on my own, even though I do, it’s more that I need it. Like really need it.

It’s why my weekend plans always sound so boring when ever someone at works asks me what I am doing over the weekend or what I did over the weekend because the answer is usually always ‘nothing, just chilling.’ Sometimes the answer changes and it’s like a huge thing, but mostly that is my answer. And I’ve reached a point where I’m not even phased anymore by people telling me that maybe I need to get out more, because that requires energy. It takes so much energy from me sometimes. Just being in an office with people 8 hours a day 5 times a week takes a lot of energy out of me (there’s anxiety involved in work exhausting me sometimes as well, but that’s not important for this) and if I then have to be sociable at the weekend as well then I will just never recover at all and I’ve done that before.

It didn’t end well.

I may never go into why it was so awful, but my entire second year at uni was basically just a year of me having to make it through exhausted because I just didn’t really retreat the hell back and do the thing that I know I should have to keep sane.

So I no longer make that mistake.

And given that on Saturday night I slept for 11 hours straight I’m gonna say that my body is thankful that.

And besides I have Netflix in my fortress and a lot of things I need to watch, so it’s not like I’m unproductive in my alone time…

Parentheses count: 1. See you tomorrow!

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Sophie, twenty-something, avid reader, writer, really good at watching whole seasons of TV shows in one weekend and using 10 words where 5 will do, overzealous user of the ellipsis and parentheses, starts too many sentences with ‘and’ and ‘so’, living in a continual state of Wanderlust.

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