You have no plans today

—liking yourself today will be critical.

You make calculated decisions. You’re making a choice every time. It doesn’t need to be the right choice every time, but the power is yours every time. You decided what is right and wrong. You must live with how these decisions add up.

You wake up earlier now, or you’re trying. Some mornings are smoother than others meaning that the pen moves or the keyboard clicks. One morning this week, you made coffee, wrapped yourself in your blanket and stared at the screen. You’re telling yourself that it is all okay. It is all part of it. This week was more frustrating, because you considered everything you wrote to be trash. You tell a friend about the content and he says, “keep journaling,” not to minimize it but to remind you of the distinction between writing and journaling. He’s right. Despite the wild freedom you have, there are certain topics to keep experiencing and ruminating on.

You step onto the patio and play “Thinning Out” on your iPhone. You look up to the hooks left by the previous tenant, look inside for the electric outlet on your bedroom wall, and look back at the hooks to guess how long of an extension cord you’ll need to hang a string of lights. You decide you’ll start looking for a bistro set after you have a bed-frame. 

A whole afternoon and part of an evening can be devoted to finishing a good book. You finish the book after you nearly finish an entire frozen pizza. 

It’s common for you to get to know strangers. It is new to you to consider how much of yourself you can give away in these conversations and how much should remain close to you. How much of you can you allow to be available, right now?

You pause, again. You’re still stopping yourself. You look at your iPhone and Headspace has pushed a reminder to your screen — “When you find yourself resisting something or someone, rather than allowing yourself to be distracted, gently lean into it.” This is impeccable timing. You force your attention back to your work.

You might need to eat sandwiches for a few meals this week. You need to stop being paranoid and checking your bank account multiple times per day. Repeat, “you’re ok,” to yourself out loud a few times. Keep acknowledging that you are saving for pieces of furniture and artwork you truly love and a home does not need to be “finished,” home will be built slowly. 

Twice this week, you realized you wanted to be at home. This is progress from feeling societal pressure to be “out having fun.” 

You’re leaving a lot of space for joy to exist by going slowly. It’s noticeable how comfortable you’re getting with being yourself no matter the situation. There is a relief to not living carefully, not needing to be overly considerate of each action for approval. There is the opportunity to show all sides of your personality as you please. Perhaps, step zero for being in solitude requires that you like yourself. 

Writing isn’t lonely (it is done alone). There is always something to absorb the overthinking and emotion. This is a small cheat and it’s available every minute of the day. If another person isn’t there to listen, if whatever you’re saying doesn’t need to be heard but simply released from you, write it. It will be trash to disregard or it will solidify a thought. You find validation in this. Harriet the Spy taught you this skill and you started utilizing it in middle school. There have been many bursts of this behavior, and you never notice when you stop, but thankfully you’ve managed to stay in it for several years now. Now that you’re doing it more often, you’re able to manifest the magic feeling it gives you, relaxed and tingling simultaneously.  

You feel grateful and proud. No one will ever take this time away. Ever.