You can't be faithful to your own needs if you’re perpetually consumed by the needs of others
I don't even know how to respond to this without writing an entire novel addressing every single sentence you wrote. I just understand deeply what you're saying. All of it!!
This is one of my favorite pieces you've ever written.
Love... love... love this! When you learn how to be comfortable with your own thoughts in your own space and on your own time - when you can simply sit alone and be still - it is amazing what golden-nuggets of discovery surface. AND, when you honor that stillness, those who honor their own stillness will be introduced to you. Not to sound like your elder 😂, a ripe young/old 50-something-year-old here!... But I will add... it gets easier with time to say no and let people deal with their own needs. I still battle with distractions because I DO want to maintain friendships 😉, but I'm comfortable being more selective with saying no, knowing that when I say yes, I'm all in!
Sometimes you have to stand alone just to make sure you still can...
This is fire and exactly what I needed to read today. Everything you write speaks to my soul and I wanna be you when I grow up... just kidding we're like the same age. *Me over hear wishing I wrote this and trying not to feel behind in life.*
This reminds me of Jamie Beck who moved away from her husband to France and just....was alone with her thoughts and creativity. It was supposed to be for one year. It’s been far longer and he finally moved to be with her...her photography benefited and she now lives an incredible life in France. But it took that first step to be completely alone.
Amen to that ♥️
Yes! Yes! Yes! Yes! Yes!!!!! A thousand times yes!
I've fought for my "selfish" alone time since I was a child. I don't think anyone around me really understands, but some - mostly family - tolerate it. Most take it as a judgment on themselves. Partners take it as me hiding something from them, which is utter crap since they're fine with staking out their own alone time. *Ahem*
As an adult, I've ignored my need for alone time for long stretches (years), trying to be the good daughter, friend, partner, colleague... what have you. Enter burnout, the soul-eating beeyotch.
I think course correcting can look an awful lot like burning down our world to everyone... but ourselves. We're just carving our way back to who we are. And I say cheers to that!
This is absolutely spot on Ash. If you aren't OK then you have nothing much to give to anyone else anyway. Always be SELF-ish - putting yourself first just makes sense. My 2 cents :)
Oh my gawwwed can I relate to all of this!!!!!! Sometimes I wake up early and try and sneak out of bed before my husband wakes up. He’s like a two year old. If I’m awake and up, so is he. 🤦🏾♀️ Sonetimes I make it all the way down stairs, but 30 minutes later or so, here he comes. I nearly want to smash his head in, I’m so physically angry with him.
I know, I know.....I’m a major Beooootch!!!! Up until the pandemic he travelled full-time every week and was only home on the weekends. Now he works ‘remotely’, from our basement. Where he sends me a text, then comes upstairs to ask me if I got his text!!! 😩
I try not to be a daily bitch!!! But three years later and he is driving me nuts, I finally got the kids off to college!!
Sometimes I just stay up all night, to be alone, because you’re right, asking to be left alone always sounds angry!! Especially to a gregarious, extrovert.
I LOVE alone time so much so that even though I love my husband creature, I feel kind of off when he's home, even though I enjoy his company. I love being free to paint, write, study astrology, gaze at a tree, dance wild and free with absolutely no sense of timing, or tell my cat he's the best kitty in the whole wide world (all cats are) without someone raising an eye brow at the amount of time I spend doing any and all of the above. So when mustache man is home I find myself very much encouraging him to play video games so that he is doing something he enjoys and I have the time and space to do what I enjoy until I feel ready to "people".
Reading through all the comments I was struck by how many of us "love and need my own company and alone time like other humans need oxygen" there are! We really do need a commune where we can all be alone as much as we desire and yet be able to interact with other humans when that feels right. Love to you all!
Thank you Ash for highlighting and helping to normalize how healthy and helpful alone time is!
Beautifully said Ash. One of my ideas for semi-retirement is buying a boat for the summers in Scituate. We'd get a slip in the harbor. Friends and family can come visit...but no room to stay. "sorry there is just no room on the boat." LOL
"I enjoy [...] the company of people who avoid the company of people." -my bio
My husband is away for work for 14 days, then home for 14 days during which he doesn't work. My routine (the daily grind) does not change according to his schedule.
For the 14 days he's gone, the house is silent other than whatever conversations I have with my dogs. I go to work very early in the morning, seven days a week (I work on a cattle ranch). I spend most of my free time writing or doing research. Sometimes I just sit in silence on the porch watching the dogs, chickens, hummingbirds, sunset, etc.
Then he comes home... The TV is blaring from the moment he wakes until long after I am asleep. I spend very little time writing when he's home because it seems to make him uncomfortable. Instead, I stay busy wondering if he's upset, or why. Is he hungry? Does he need something from me? Should I watch TV with him? Or bake him a cake? Should I serve up some sex? I don't know, and he won't turn the TV down enough for me to ask. I always go to bed as early as I can without being suspicious, usually immediately after serving dinner and cleaning the kitchen. We make no outside plans for his days off... He just wants to relax and watch TV. On Sundays, the shortest work day of my seven-day schedule, he invites hoards of people over to spend the day cooking out, drinking, and blaring music like a concert, then yelling at each other over the music. He only socializes at home. I always have a panic attack and sometimes go back to work just to get away.
At least that's how it was before my friend told me to read Ash Ambirge (helping me find my authentic voice). Before long, I stopped worrying about coming across as angry or selfish for demanding respect for my needs, mental health, and consideration for my time when I'm not at work. My demands were not well met. Arguments ensued. Fights were fought. Aggressive became the new passive, and lines were crossed.
It took a couple of months to get him to leave, but he left. I made him take the TV in exchange for giving up my vehicle, my health insurance, and my financial security. Worth it.
My friends keep asking if I'm lonely yet. I keep telling them that I can't be lonely as long as there's someone around to ask that question every month or so.