Now playing: 365 Days of Me Time

I started this blog as an exercise in writing, in exploring possibilities and giving a voice to my 30-day experience on the Farmcoast.

Now that I’m home, why stop there?

Shouldn’t we strive to fill our hearts with a little self-indulgence every day? It is our one life to live, no? It is a miracle to have the chances that we do, yes? We are all–each and every one of us–worth it, aren’t we?

You don’t need a hair product commercial to tell yourself you’re worth it. Your zest for life is not going to materialize in a fortune cookie. And you can’t rely on winning the lottery to change your destiny. Let’s face it. One great, amazing thing you can control is how you treat yourself.

So…maybe skip a day of work next week and avoid your email, texts and Facebook pings. Don’t even look. All will be there when you get back to it. And if not, consider yourself lucky.

Sneak into another movie after a movie with overpriced candy in your pockets and perhaps a discreet flask of somethin’ somethin’. That’s right. Just like when you were 15. Because that ridiculous teen in you should always be accessible.

Get into your car and drive without a destination, radio up, windows down and all back roads. Get lost because that’s when you find something truly interesting.

Find an old-world steam bath. Go naked. Sing if you must. Who cares. Not you 20, 30 years from now. So why wait til you get old to be that carefree. F-it. Who cares.

Give your best to your worst guilty pleasure. As long as you’re not making someone else squeamish, I’d say, you are allowed.

365. 24/7. Take it. It’s yours.

Advertisements

Day 27: When it comes to personality, what makes us click or clash?

Freud said by age five we cement who we are for life. If I believe Dr. Freud, I’m screwed.

I was an impatient, head strong little girl who’s favorite phrase was, “Daddy, right nowww.” And everyone loved it. Nothing like a little “Aw, she’s cute” to teach a kid that her stubborn demands equal perfectly acceptable and amusing behavior.

If our personality is set in stone at such a tender age, how much can we shift the rest of our lives? And what does that mean for our relationships and experiences if we can’t truly change?

I’ve met a handful of new people this last month. And each time, in not-so-idle chit chat, I wonder how well I can size them up inside of the peel-the-onion conversation. The stories of their lives. The way they tell it. The selection. The tone. The little idiosyncrasies that stick out like accidentally exposed underwear. And I wonder, how are they judging me? My presentation of myself. My masking of my Little Miss Right Now. My inability to mask. We all try to craft first impressions…but is it even possible? Do we all fail miserably to hide our inner five year olds?

The Buddhist teacher, Pema Chodron, talks about how we reject people who touch a nerve in our own identity. And so regardless of what resonates or doesn’t–through others, we are only fine tuning ourselves. The last month, though I’ve been focused on me time, my antenna has been up tenfold. I have put myself in unusual and sometimes uncomfortable situations–partially to see how it changes me.

I’ve leaned in to the discomfort. The confusion. The things that struck a dissonant twang. And sure enough, I learned that the room to shift my values has been very small. I’m fully formed and I seem to only gravitate to my likeness. The things in others that reflect who I am myself. Is that narcissistic?

It’s not so black and white. I’m not sure that you ever have a genuine image of anyone anyway. Though I share these thoughts shaped by the me I want you to read, you can’t see the filters, the processing and the re-processing before they’re packaged. (I’m even writing under a pseudonym.) No matter what you say, no one really knows what’s in your head but you. And, as Simone de Beauvoir, so insightfully said, “Sometimes speech is no more than a device for saying nothing, and a neater one than silence.”

Yet, you communicate so much without speaking. Your outfit. Your hand gestures. Your getting lost in a sentence because it started to travel down the unfiltered path. Your gait. Your laugh or lack thereof. Your eye-to-eye or eye-to-floor or eye-to-empty-space contact.

Through all of that, turns out, you are who you don’t have to say you are. The child in all of us still picks our playmates on instinct–just on a bigger playground.