I can’t go out tonight. Why? Because I’m staying home.
This sounds like a simple enough phrase but surprisingly, there’s some explanation needed.
I’m starting with this: it’s okay to stay inside. It’s okay to prefer staying in. It’s okay to enjoy your life outside of a restaurant, a bar, or a club. It’s okay to be a homebody.
Especially during the holiday season when we have more social obligations, introverts and homebodies need time to be alone, in the comfort of solitude, quiet, and in their own place. We need to recharge our batteries.
But it’s more than that. We’ll get there.
First of all, it’s okay to stay home. Part of building a healthy lifestyle, a self-care regiment, and creating healthy boundaries is understanding and recognizing when we need to take step back.
We can’t physically keep going all the time. Some of us can go out nearly nightly and be completely fine. But there’s always a sacrifice. Whether it’s diet, sleep, or over consumption of alcohol, something has to give. Ultimately, a much larger problem arises if all we ever do is leave the house.
We don’t know how to be all right with just ourselves.
This is an important thing to mention. Are you okay being alone with yourself? No phone, no TV, just you. Are you okay with that? When we are constantly around people at work, when we go out, we don’t know how to be alone with ourselves. We might not have even been taught this growing up if we had a large family.
It is something though we need to know. The sooner we are comfortable with ourselves, the better our life will be.
That’s a big reason why I like staying in instead of going out. I happen to really enjoy my own company. I’m a writer, which means I spend most of my day with my thoughts, my words, and the quiet around me. If I didn’t like my own company I’d go mad.
It’s all we actually have. What we really have is ourselves. That’s what we live with every single moment of the day. That’s what we will die with. It’s important to understand that sometimes we are leaving the house and going out because we want to be with others, it’s habit, or we just don’t want to be with ourselves.
There’s nothing wrong with going out. Nothing at all! But there’s nothing wrong with staying in. All throughout my life people have considered me boring, a prude because I don’t like going out.
But I just don’t like it.
I don’t drink much, and I never drink in public. I like drinking with family, people close to me. More important than that though, I don’t like being around people who drink. This is probably the child that grew up with an alcoholic parent still inside me, but it makes me uncomfortable.
I’m just not in on the joke. And I especially get uncomfortable if someone is going to drive home like that.
Also not a huge fan of loud parties, loud music I don’t like, and/or loud people who smell like liquor and cigarettes. So I choose to do something I know I’ll love: sitting at home listening to rock/metal/piano music, watching something on TV with my hubby, or going for a long, late run. That’s my choice!
The cool thing about this world and our lives is that we have choices we get to make. We don’t have to do what’s socially acceptable or “cool” if we don’t want to. We don’t even have to feel bad about it. We don’t owe anyone anything. The only person we owe making the right choice to, is ourselves.
We have to be honest about what makes us happy. And maybe that is going out a lot, hanging out with people or going to clubs. But maybe it’s a quietly inviting one or two friends over for a chill dinner. Maybe it’s just getting coffee every now and again. We’re each different and we’ll each have our own ways to enjoy each other’s company.
So embrace your version of a good Friday night. Enjoy your life, enjoy your decisions even if that does mean watching something on TV and having some tea.