Lesson 16: You Should Get Takeout Just For Yourself

This is a really niche statement, but bear with me.

“You should get takeout just for yourself” is basically just my way of saying: “You should learn to treat yourself”. Why, you ask? It just so happens that I had a revolutionary moment the first time I ordered takeout just for myself. In fact, it wasn’t even takeout, it was McDonalds drive-thru breakfast, which is even sadder. But that would make for an even worse article title. 

When this revolutionary moment happened I was living with my old housemate, Laura (aka Lauz Explores), and she laughed when I told her this story because she got takeout to herself all the time and didn’t see what the big deal was. So, if you’re one of those people, feel free to laugh along with her, and please know that I’m jealous of your innate ability to treat yourself like the queen you are.

For the rest of us, it doesn’t come so easily. Buying things I need? Easy. Buying things I want, that will disappear after half an hour never to be seen again? Difficulty level: Extreme.

And, by the way, when I say “order takeout just for yourself” I don’t mean Nessa-from-Gavin-and-Stacey style (if you know, you know). What I mean is ordering takeout just for yourself when you’re sat at home alone, totally exhausted with nothing in the fridge (or only food that you don’t fancy).

I never used to do this. I used to think that takeout was for special occasions (or that anything indulgent was for special occasions, actually), and to me that meant doing it with someone else. Especially during lockdown, I used to long for someone to come over and get takeout with me. It hardly even occurred to me that I could do it by myself, which I think is a pretty accurate representation of how little I valued myself at the time.

Come to think about it, I actually wrote about this way back in Lesson 3, when I was talking about how my sense of style was affecting my self-confidence.

But, back to the story.

I remember the day vividly. It was lockdown, the third one in England, I think, and I was bored out of my mind, working, cooking, going to bed, and getting up to do the same thing again the next day, and the next, and the next. I think this is a feeling that just about the whole world can relate to; I’m lucky that lockdown wasn’t so terrible for me, just monotonous and lacking variety.

So, I woke up early one day, before I had to start work. (Pretty unusual for me; I used to be the hop-out-of-bed-five-minutes-before-I-start kind of gal. Oh, the luxuries of working from home…). I had nothing in my cupboards and I was craving a McDonald’s breakfast. Something came over me, and I decided to just go. I hopped in my car, drove to the McDonald’s drive-thru, and ordered myself an egg McMuffin, a hash brown and a latte. I took it home and ate it at my desk before work.

Sounds like a totally normal thing to do, right?

But this was one of the first times that I’d spent money on myself, just because. I could have gone to the supermarket for supplies and made something with half the money. I could have asked my housemate for breakfast. But I didn’t, I chose the most expensive option with the sole purpose of satisfying a craving.

I was only working part-time, so I didn’t have a tonne of spare cash. I didn’t have the kind of income to be spending money on a whim. In fact, I was already saving up for my next big travel, which always led to a sense of guilt whenever I spent money unnecessarily. I’d always think: That’s another day of work I need to do before I can go travelling.

And, as much as you might want to save money for a big travel, a house or any other investment, it’s important to find balance and learn to be kind to yourself, too. You deserve it.

This was a turning point for me in terms of independence. This happened almost three years ago, when I was newly single and learning to navigate the world as a lone adult for basically the first time ever. 

I’ve learned a lot since then, but learning to be independent and value my own opinions, desires and cravings was one of the most important things I could have learned at this time. It’s not about a takeaway, it’s about valuing yourself, and whether you’re alone, in a relationship or living in a nudist colony (you do you), this is one of the most vital skills you can teach yourself.

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