‘I hope you find indefensible amounts of beauty, solace, and grace in and around San Francisco when that surrender to the me-times comes your way.’
I just had the inkling to write you something today. I know you’ve been hella busy as of late — keeping this bag of enzymes and proteins we call the human body alive is taxing enough, as it is. And work’s been nonstop. I understand, too, that you feel like you’re falling behind on some obligations; some social check-ups; you’ve had to cancel some dinner plans.
(It’s crazy how time slips through our fingers, right? Like how the 24 hours in a day never feel like enough? And in this economy, no less?)
Let’s not forget: You’re also living through the collapse of modern society as it pulls itself out of a years-long pandemic that’s completely altered our daily lives. A society that tells us our self-worth is tied to our net worth. That our very purpose is synonymous with our ability to produce. Where amassing a lot of currency is required to quite literally stay alive.
Suffice it to say it requires living under an inordinate amount of pressure these days to put one foot in front of the other. To merely exist somewhat intact is an applaudable achievement, IMO.
I guess what I’m trying to say (write? type? text?) is that I’m really proud of you. Like… so fucking proud of you. know you’re too humble and hard-working to admit this, but you deserve a break — especially right now, as the holidays are fast approaching. (Strange that this is also the busiest time of the year for us, isn’t it? It should be weeks marked by rest, dinners with friends, parties that linger into the early hours of the morning, and reflection on the year prior… not one populated by growing to-do lists and skyrocketing gloves of cortisol.)
So that’s what I’m trying to do now: Let you know that you’re seen and heard, and that doesn’t change whenever you need to step back from the responsibilities in your life — to just be, in whichever way you find appropriate. Right now. Or later. Maybe next week.
In fact: Think of this digital page as your permission slip to relax the fuck out whenever you want to or need to, no matter what’s happening around you.
When we met up for lunch last, I remembered you mentioning that you always feel guilty about just having to quote “me-time.” Well, dear, I’m here to tell you that this me-time you speak of is essential to our humanity.
It’s in these moments of self-reflection, spent consciously or not, that we can then stumble upon gratitude for what we have around us. Or find small joys in the things we’re too busy to notice from 9 a.m. in the morning to 5 p.m. at night. Or to give our physical bodies a chance to unclench — drop our shoulders, loosen our jaws, decompress our spines. Maybe this can be time for you to let that big brain of yours turn off for a hot second; so many people want your attention, but I hope you’re putting your own well-being first.
I hope you find indefensible amounts of beauty, solace, and grace when surrendering to the me-times to come.
Let’s not think of it as me-time if you want. How about an essential day? Reminding you that to do your remarkable work in the world and to fully embody your phenomenal self, you have to put everything aside for an hour or two. (Perhaps longer, probably longer.) Because it’s necessary in order for both of those descriptors to remain intact.
Now, this relaxation we’re talking about — you know, the type that we defined out at Italian dinner last month — doesn’t have to be spent in a comatose, either. You don’t have to become catatonic to feel released, darling. Think of these upcoming bouts of sublime relaxation as time spent without purpose. (There’s no ROI on them; they don’t have Google Doc attachments; they’re not even on a payroll… of any kind.)
When I see you at your wit’s end, stressed about everything and everyone, all I want to do is give you a hug and say go take a breather.
Remember when you wanted to pick up running again because it made you feel wild and free? Do that… because that’s relaxing for you. Maybe you’ll get a second wind to dive into transcendental meditation again. Sail away on it. You love gardening and watching the hummingbirds nurse those neon-red feeders.
Maybe your relaxation for one particular day means ordering takeout on Uber Eats and rewatching Beyonce’s Homecoming for the umpteenth time. Fuck yeah, do it. If that’s what you need in order to just be that day, I want you to do it. Without guilt. Unapologetically.
When I see you at your wit’s end, stressed about everything and everyone, all I want to do is give you a hug and say go take a breather. But sometimes, it’s hard for me to do the latter; I never want to come across as prescriptive in our kindredship; I always want to be in support of you, all of you.
So that’s what I’m trying to do now: Let you know that you’re seen and heard, and that doesn’t change whenever you need to step back from the responsibilities in your life — to just be, in whichever way you find appropriate.
And you’re allowed to do so at any time and under no pretense. Now and forevermore.
I hope you find indefensible amounts of beauty, solace, and grace in and around San Francisco when that surrender to the me-times comes your way.
Feature image: Courtesy of Hensolt SEAONC Legacy Project