When I was in the eighth grade I moved to Florida to live with my grandparents. They lived right on the lake, and countless beautiful memories were created for me there. Kayaking as often as I wanted to, riding bikes around the neighborhood, my uncle Mark teaching me how to draw on the swing beside the dock, fresh squeezed orange juice every single morning for breakfast, and that’s just the beginning.
There was this old wooden dock that all of the old men would congregate on every day around 4pm. I would make my way over after school, we’d fish, and they’d tell me their stories. After talking with them for a while I would make my way down to the boat loading dock. I would sit and write. I would write their stories down so I would never forget them. I would write about my upcoming tests and boys I had crushes on. I would write about the state of my 13 year old soul and what I thought the greater things in life would turn out to be. I would write everything.
I would write, and I would dangle my feet into the water, breathe in the air, and allow my hair to play footsy with the wind.
In those moments I found a comforting solitude. A place where I could go and find more to life. More than the daily struggles I was handed. More than my petty worries of whether or not that boy on the dock would ask me out. I found more.
This habit of finding solace within myself followed me. I remember little places during college where I would go to be alone. Everywhere I’ve ever lived I’ve found a place that felt like it was mine. A place where I could breathe and develop, and write.
Although this habit may seem contradictory to my extroverted personality. It has become almost a hospital for my soul. A place to go and get patched up.
To remove the wounds that are inflicted daily by myself, by others, and by expectations that I just can’t let go.
There’s a profound urgency that I feel when I think of this one life that we have to live.
An urgency for the idea that we need to keep our own happiness in mind. Because after all, you are only able to do this once.
I would like to plea that you give yourself patience and speak to yourself with tenderness.
Whether you find a physical place of rest or a mental one. I hope that you are seeking outlets. Little pockets of serenity within an often turbulent life.
It is never too soon to begin the process of self-love.
After all, aren’t 5 days of unhappiness better than 6?