192 Hours of Me Time

Me and Jillian

A couple of weeks ago Ian was back in England for work, so I was left to fend for myself in the big American world for a full week.

As he left on a rainy Friday night, I really don’t want to admit that leaky eyes returned, but I’m certainly not going to deny that fact either. Ian has often told me I’m really sensitive in some (ahum, cute) ways, however I think what he really means is pathetic, but I like the gesture.

I feel like I need to explain that I don’t cry every time Ian goes away, I’m really not the needy, dependent girlfriend you may be picturing right now.  Since we started going out Ian has always travelled and I am used to it, however I am still adjusting to living abroad, it can be a challenge, and I still have the odd mini meltdown where I want to go home.

If you have read my previous posts you will know I can’t work whilst in America, therefore I do spend a lot of time by myself at home, and my only set routine each day is that Ian returns from work every evening.  Up until now I have always worked full time, and I have always had friends and family close by, so when Ian was travelling before, I always had my own thing going on.  My life at the moment is a little different, as much as I do keep myself busy through the day, doing things that I want to do, trying to be productive, and exploring the city, I take comfort knowing this part of the day ends at 5.30pm, much like a work day.

This was why I was a little daunted at the prospect of being by myself, knowing I would be talking to myself for the most of part of 8 days and nights rather than 9 quick hours, whilst living in a city I’m still not fully comfortable with. Also, with Ian not being there I would have no-one expecting anything from me apart from myself.  You know when you have time off work by yourself, and suddenly it seems acceptable to wear tracksuit bottoms with 5 day old dried pizza sauce stuck to the crotch, you consider it productive to watch a full Netflix series in one sitting, and you start believing showering is more optional than necessary.  I’m trying really hard not to do that.

Of course you all think I’m a drama queen, and I kinda was, my week to myself was mostly fine, I even enjoyed some of it. However, I do regret that I didn’t go to cheesecake factory whilst Ian wasn’t there to judge me as I consumed 1500 calories all in one go.

I spent the first night pampering myself and watching back to back episodes of The Office US.  I also had a little situation with a cockroach/cockroach like creature, scurrying across the bathroom floor.  It was my moment to shine as the strong, independent woman Cosmo keeps telling me that I am, so I trapped it under a vase before throwing it out of the window.  No you didn’t misread, I wrote vase.

On the first weekend I went to a Chilli Festival in West Chester, about 50 minutes West of Philly (I literally just Googled which direction WEST Chester was in, oh boy), with my friend Jillian.  We tried a lot of different home made chilli’s, all really nice, and some a little different to what I am used to. One in particular was served on-top of some kind of sponge, I still don’t really understand if it was supposed to be a type of dessert.  It wasn’t my favourite but Jillian really liked it, however she was very confused at my suggestion of serving the chilli with rice.  Don’t trust her.

The above photo is of me and Jillian with Captain America (I think).

On one particularly bored evening I found a new love – going to the cinema by myself.  Ahuh.  It was great, there was hardly anyone in the whole theatre, I could spread myself out, no one was kicking my chair, chewing or whispering loudly.  Also, there was also no-one to judge me as I packed a hoodie in-case I got cold, and some grapes for when I got hungry.

Yea I know, next time I’ll be knitting in the back row.

For the rest of the week I mainly spent my time at the gym or going for a run, I also changed my blog layout, wrote a few posts, I sunbathed on a rather random hot day, wrote some letters home, read a full book, and I also did my first shift volunteering at an Animal Shelter, which I will go into more in a separate post soon.

I also had my first ‘girls night out’ since being here.  When I first moved to Philadelphia I joined meetup.com which is an online network of local groups that have been created with the aim to meet new, similarly minded people, whether you want to meet new friends or make a difference in the community.  When I first moved here I met up with a group of women who had also moved to Philadelphia, either from another country or another city.  On the Friday night before Ian returned home I met up with two of the girls and we went out for dinner, it was so nice, firstly to actually have plans, and secondly to just have a normal night out, have a few drinks, and talk about some of the things I would usually talk about with my friends back home.

It might sound silly but I was quite proud of myself after this week, I managed to keep myself busy and motivated, I got out and about with other people, and held it together for most of the week.  I still had a couple of fed up days when I was feeling bored and lonely, and one night I may have gotten into bed at 8pm.

I did enjoy sleeping diagonally and not having to shave my legs though.


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