I took a lot of time for reflection this year and it is the greatest thing I’ve ever done for myself.
At a time when I was considering leaving freelancing to go in-house to up my skills, a friend of mine mentioned that she only got two weeks of vacation at her 9-5 job (something I’d heard thrown around in the culture but never given much thought to). After realizing that I was close to trapping myself in a box for lord knows how long, I started booking out chunks of my time (a privilege of freelancing) to just go spend time outside.
A little backstory: When I was about sixteen, I had an appointment to finally get a new pair of glasses and being out in the world with a big blue sky and the bright sun- when I’d spent the previous five years being shuttled to school before sunrise and leaving after sunset- was a revelation. I started skipping school just to spend more time outside, doing everything and nothing while basking in the sunlight. Legit.
And I’ve kept that need to be out in the world. My favorite days on any job now are pull and return days because even if I have to return thousands of dollars of merch and suffer all the dirty looks from managers, at least I get to feel a nice breeze and don’t have to wait until 5pm to enjoy a big, beautiful sky.
So this year, I spent as much time as I could manage hanging out, journaling by rivers. Trying to untangle my goals and desires from benchmarks that I felt I was supposed to reach based on some unspoken bullshit rules about creative career trajectories. I’m not going to say that I found all the answers, but I will say that my sketchbooks and journals are full and I no longer feel like my brain is in knots.
The term self- care is pretty often used to sell face masks and jade sex toys, let’s all remember to take time to practice some self care that doesn’t involve spending money. Go hang out in whatever space makes you feel calm. Be still and just write down your thoughts.
Grandmother Willow was right.