A room of my own


I’d never ordered room service before tonight. And even this first time, I deliberated for an age. Isn’t it a bit too much, the tray charge? I could just go down to the restaurant. I really don’t want to leave my room… But whatever, I’ll save the money and see more of the hotel.

Except there was a minimum half-hour wait for a table. Call it fate.

So I dialled the extension number for room service, with pretty much no idea of the protocol (it’s so painfully obvious that I don’t do this stuff), and ordered a pizza to my room. Added chips at the last minute, too. Because there’s a thing called ‘carb-loading’ that I felt was necessary tonight.

Tomorrow morning is the Royal Windsor River Trail Run. My third half-marathon in two months, but my first off-road. And I’m certain I don’t have the right shoes for it. But the route is promised to be “picturesque and scenic,” so I’m gonna attack/enjoy it in the shoes I do have regardless.

Because I have a tendency in life to simply wing it.

And in the meantime, I’m here, in a hotel, with lots of greenery out the window, and lots of q u i e t. I haven’t put the TV on, because to break the quiet would be sacrilegious. Instead I’m on the bed, stuffed full of room-service food, and typing this post on my phone as my eyelids get heavier and heavier.

And I’m completely alone.

I feel I’ve been in a cocoon lately. Supremely uninterested in small talk (or even much talk at all). Late responding to messages. Itching to stop and simply be. And tonight, as I munched on a goat’s cheese pizza, listened to the Modern Love podcast and, yep, felt blazingly aware of my solitude, I knew I wouldn’t have it any other way. Not really.

I feel like life is a series of phases. Sometimes I’m intensely sociable. I’m at every event, I make plans every night. And other times, I’m insanely introspective. I show up to places alone, don’t think of inviting others. Want to keep my head down. Just me, and it.

(I once learnt that I’m an “introverted extrovert,” so this switching of phases makes sense.)

The trick, I’ve found, is in going with the phase. Feeling into it, not resisting my own company. Not trying to distract from it by showing up to stuff my heart’s not really into, or by spending wayyyy too much time scrolling Instagram pictures that I know are staged (because who doesn’t arrange their room service on the hotel bed just so). Don’t get me wrong; it’s not always fun being on your own. But as I’m getting better at it, I find it is nearly always illuminating and important.

Especially when goat’s cheese pizza is involved. (I am SO about this room-service life.)

Virginia Woolf once wrote that a woman should have a room of her own if she’s to write. I’d attest that a room of one’s own, just for a night, especially one with a made bed and food delivered to its door, can provide blog-post fodder and just feel really, really nice.