Allowing Myself

…to feel, to love, to be.

Tag: coffee date

Day Alone – Last Bookstore

Since yesterday was Veterans Day (and work was closed) I took Monday off as well, creating a 4-day weekend (after 4 days of travel for work). It was the perfect way to get grounded.

I did a HITT exercise, gave the dog a bath and then ran 2m with him. I met a friend pretty early for breakfast at Paper or Plastik Cafe (where the “no laptop” pic was taken above – Hi Julie!) and then picked up a weaving Jessica O’Brien made and gave away for free via Twitter (heart the Internet).

Some time that morning I thought about The Last Bookstore in downtown LA – I’d never been. Having the entire day to myself seemed like a good enough reason to go.

The drive downtown was pretty easy with the help of GPS and I found a metered spot across the street. #bonus

Inside it is all sorts of used-bookstore-goodness. There are shelves and shelves of books, grouped in the usual categories, but the endcaps had random assortments of new and used volumes. The tables in the middle held art or coffee table books – the themes not entirely obvious at first glance. There were a bunch of very worn, very old chairs strewn around, some with people lounging and reading. And there were PA speakers set up, with a random playlist going, though I caught some Conor Oberst, which made me super happy.

I walked around for over an hour, collecting a few books that I thought were worth owning. And by worth owning, I mean, books whose pages I may want to write in the margins of. I love reading but I don’t buy books often anymore. In the interest of more open space in our apartment, I gave away most of my books in the past few years – getting our living room down to one bookcase and the bookcase upstairs holding other things besides just books.

But that dry, paper smell of stacks of books? That never gets old.

I drove from the bookstore to a Starbucks. I tried writing some, but my brain felt so overwhelmed with ideas, it seemed blank. After an hour of scratching around, I left to pick up groceries.

At home I unpacked the groceries, biked the dog around the neighborhood, cooked Mexican food for dinner, and pulled the 9 of Cups from the tarot deck: It is a sign to enjoy the abundance of life and to feel each of your emotions as if you had never felt any of them before. See the perfection all around you.

Yes, another day alone. Just like my day in Pasadena last month, it was a much needed luxury of spending time with myself, and creating space to just be.

Perfection.

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A Day Alone

I’m taking Abby Kerr’s INFJ Business class, and one of the things I’m learning about is recovery time.

How much I need, what tasks require more or less recovery time, and the self-imposed limits I’ve crafted for what is the “correct” recovery time for me (read: hustling / being good enough / work first, play later etc.)

Last week, I didn’t feel so hot. In fact, it’s the most out-of-it I’ve felt in a while. And even after a day of trying to take care of myself and starting to feel better, things were only looking slightly up.

So after two days of this, I decide to call out of work. And thank goodness. The pure relief of not having any pressure, the freedom to do what I wanted, the delight of playing hooky – it was exactly what I needed. I felt better immediately.

I saw my therapist, went to my favorite cafe and worked on my INFJ class, hunted down and rented a costume for a party, ate lunch and read a book at another fav cafe, and then came home to relax.

It was bliss.

And the reason I share this is because I forgot sometimes what I need. And maybe you do too. So here’s a suggestion: I encourage you to take a day for yourself. I know that sounds indulgent, b/c it is. It is not often we are encouraged to take a day for ourselves. So if you can’t go for that, try an afternoon or even an hour in a cafe, reading a magazine or a long walk outside alone. Allow yourself to pick something for you, and go for it.

 

Lonely to Lovely

Monday I wasn’t feeling so hot, but I tried to make the best of it. I thought it would pass.

Tuesday I didn’t feel much better.

Be it pms, the moon phase, 9.11 memories, too many work loops left open, feeling a bit too tired to deal with other people’s energy – whatever. It was crap. I knew it was OK, but I couldn’t shake it off either.

As I wasted time Tuesday morning on Instagram, I saw a friend post a few pages from the creative book Steal Like An Artist. I commented:

Omg yes! I may need to borrow. Or we should have coffee / creative book swap time.

As soon as I wrote that, I felt excited. That’s exactly what I needed! Creative, coffee, friend time. I was lonely! Miss loves-alone-time wanted company. Who knew?

So I texted said this gal for a coffee date. It felt odd, putting myself out there. Like I was 12 years old – come out and play? We’ve gotten coffee before but we’re not, like, friends friends. I know her through work, and from college, but at the same time I’ve never been to her apartment…

Magically, she texted back she could hang after work. My mood soared. I felt motivated to do my work. I had something to look forward to. And being that I’m not seeing my therapist this week, it was 100% what I needed.

I’ve mentioned before, but deep conversation is part of the things that make me feel complete. So this hang totally hit the spot. And that night H and I went out for Yogurtland and by Wednesday morning, I was a new person. Or back to normal. However we can celebrate it.

Did I mention my friend is pretty f-ing talented too? Check her out.