I met my ex-husband when I was 17 years old and went straight from living with my parents to moving in with him a few years later (I never went to university or lived with friends).
Fast forward 13 years and a bit years to a few months after we separated, and I had to go to Wales to present at a conference for work. After god-knows-how-many hours on way-too-many trains (sidebar – am sat here trying to remember why I didn’t drive, there must have been a good reason), I got to the hotel, checked in and headed to my room.
I unlocked the door, wheeled my bag in and looked around. It was a plush room, huge in size with a giant king-size bed, lounge area and a balcony overlooking the golf course. I flopped on the bed, exhausted after the long journey and got my phone out. I sat there with it in my hand when it suddenly hit me.
It was the first time in my entire adult life where I had no one I needed to call to let them know I got there OK, or to tell about the massive bed or balcony.
It was a strange feeling; I felt liberated, empowered and free.
But I also felt vulnerable and disconnected. No one, apart from my work colleagues, knew where I was. There was no one to share my giant-hotel-room excitement or pre-presentation nerves with.
It was a reminder that ‘you’re on your own now buddy’.
There’s no one there.