Table for one, please.

Today, I just want to curl up in bed.

I’m on the tram aimlessly scrolling through Instagram to take my mind off the fact I’m heading into work. It’s a beautiful, crisp morning and my new pom pom hat provides a perfect cushion for me to rest my weary head against the wet, cold window. The journey allows me to admire the pink candy floss sky that’s providing the most breathtaking backdrop to the castle.

My skins broken out so much, that even putting on concealer is like playing dot to dot. I have no clue what I’m actually wearing, it genuinely looks as if I got dressed in the dark this morning. I have my thick framed glasses on, hair unbrushed and looking more like Garth from Waynes world than ever before (once you see that, you can’t un-see it!) I have no energy and know even super strength coffee won’t get me through today.

Halloween costumes come cheap.

On the contrary, the past week has been completely brilliant. I’ve sipped bubbles at award ceremonies, I’ve spent precious time with my best friends and my incredible family. Chris and I managed to squeeze in a birthday night out and I implicitly over done it on the margs, of course. It’s been so full of love, laughter, good food and better cocktails… but, there’s always the inevitable phase that follows after you’ve out done yourself with extravagant social plans. The burn out!

Now, don’t be fooled into thinking my social commitments are always like this, I can assure you, it comes in waves. In reality, it’s usually all or nothing. I just don’t have much to report when all I’ve done is snuggle on the couch eating Nutella with a spoon and not showering for two days, because damn it, I don’t want to move! I have weekends where I don’t see a soul apart from Chris because we live together. I usually try to manage and maintain a good balance but sometimes plans just sound like far too much fun and before you know it, you’re in the pub on your second drink and there’s no turning back. The aftermath of apologising to both your poor bank and brain when they are both left running on empty somehow never feels quite so good.

As much as I’m super sociable, I can also in stark contrast, be an extreme introvert. I often get so excited about the prospect of a night in alone, speaking to not a single soul unless it’s changing my 80’s playlist via Alexa. It’s absolutely nothing to do with other people but absolutley everything to do with me… which is not always the easiest to explain. ‘Sorry babes. I’m not coming out on Saturday night, got a hot date with a lush bath bomb and frozen pizza!’ To remain sane, to align my thoughts and feeling of inner tranqulity, I simply need to be alone from time to time.

This is some of the reasons why I love my alone time.

Most people during their time at university have great memories of making new friends and partying. I remember spending a lot of time in the library, coffee shops and burning my student loan shopping in Topshop… on my own. I’m not having a pity party, I wanted that and god, I honestly had the best time! I love my own company and more than just enjoy it, I find it a necessity.

Spending time on my own allows me to blow away any troubling thoughts and gives me clarity on matters when I feel a bit foggy. I feel so comfortable in my own skin, I find myself day dreaming about what I want to achieve. I can tune into the tiny, beautiful moments like the vivid colours of the autumn leaves, the faint smell of waffles soaring through the fresh Scottish winds or the twinkle of shooting star on a clear night. It gives me time to think about the bigger picture stuff when I’m feeling bogged down by the everyday grind and puts any work related gripes or crappy skin days into complete perspective.

Although, I know some people don’t quite ‘get it’ and that’s completely OK. After all, we need and crave different ways to cope in this thing called life. There’s a bar in Edinburgh’s west end I often stop off at when I need to figure out something that’s been bothering me or celebrate something I’ve achieved that day. Sometimes there’s no reason at all. ‘Table for one please… and a large glass of red.’ I’ve had a few curious questions from the staff ‘Will someone be joining you?’ With a smile, I’m able to respond confidently, ‘Not tonight thank you for asking. Tonight it’s just me, myself and that large alcoholic beverage.’

My next adventure is to book a few nights away on my own. A cheap flight to Europe, a few days of eating decadently, listening to my favourite music while writing and drinking margaritas by moonlight. Wherever my bank account carries me, I know I’ll come home fully reset, batteries charged and ready to give 100% to my nearest and dearest… who without, I have no idea where I would be or what I would do.

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Trying not to be swept away by ferocious winds, I was very glad not to be alone here.

Love,

Ash x