Is it okay to be selfish? We are taught by our parents to share our toys, to serve dinner to our friends first, always spare someone else’s feelings (this is the one time lying is sometimes acceptable – we are talking about white lies here). So, when does the time come to put our own needs first? How do you figure out what you like and want if you’re worrying – constantly – about everyone else? These questions (and their answers) lead me to believe that it is sometimes necessary to be selfish in order to find your passion.
I want to seize an entire day – heck an entire weekend – to chase my interests, and go wherever it may lead me. Others can follow my lead; they may join along in my plans – but they are indeed my plans.
Why is it then that coming up with a weekend’s worth of plans completely on my own is a bit like being hung to dry by my toenails? It’s scary, almost painful, but sure to teach me a lesson.
Let’s picture it…
I would appreciate sleeping to start things off, though not past 9:45AM. Sleeping much later really wastes a good portion of your day. To follow this up – an immediate Starbucks run and a walk to the East River – dog and camera in tow. Approximately two Venti refills later, a couple hours of walking, dog parking, and picture snapping I would circle my way back to my apartment and take approximately 30-40 minutes to take a shower. My logic here is simple: when I decide to take my sweet time listening to loud music, windows open (winter or summer) eating yogurt and dropping clothes one piece at a time all over my apartment… it’s going to take a while. AND if this is my day… I will be practicing my “moves” during the whole ordeal; not to worry folks… I usually justify my routine by labeling it exercise, so we’re all good!
Now, after I’ve cleaned myself up, it is time for the rest of my day – and oh, the possibilities… I have half left! I believe I would like to dedicate a good portion of that time to the Union Square Farmer’s market. This is a great set up on the Lower East Side – local farmers and vendors, fresh produce, everything is outside… excellente…
City Harvest also gets volunteers to collect leftover produce that the local farmers/vendors weren’t able to sell over the weekend to charity. Now, it doesn’t get any better than that.
I would most definitely try my hardest to swing a small volunteer gig into “my” weekend.
After the ”shop ’til I drop” experience at the market and most likely struggling to carry home vast amounts of fruits, vegetables, and handmade soap… mmm, soap… I would lug it all back up into my apartment to create a new concoction. I find, one of my guilty pleasures is to create a new meal based around a item I’ve never had before. Bring on the rutabagas, pummelos, and chayote squash… My absolute favorite thing to buy from the market: an assortment basket of hot peppers - chilies, jalapenos, habaneros… everything tastes better spicy. Insert stomach of steel jokes here. I’ve earned them!
Thoroughly satisfied with my fresh meal – on my day – I would go (with or without company) to a movie of my choice. Sometimes, it is almost better to go to a movie alone. Now call me crazy – but no one can tease you for freaking out if you are scared or laughing at inappropriate moments if you are there in the privacy of your own company.
Sunday is go-to-the-park-day; the park of choice being of course Central Park. So – on this very special weekend… (weather permitting) camera, dog, journal, kindle, and snacks packed up – it would be off to the park. I really could waste hours ( upon hours…) at the park. I love to watch people, in the non-I’m-about-to-chop-you-up-and-put-you-in-my-freezer sort of way, of course. I helps me write, think, paint, photograph, it helps pretty much do everything. I don’t know if that is because it is one of the quietest places in Manhattan? Or if because it is some of the “freshest” air? Nevertheless, I’ve found this ritual to be most enjoyable alone as well.
With other people I feel compelled to fulfill a mission or end in a particular destination. I feel constantly pushed as if in a “hurry up and wait” mentality where my company’s presence shoves me one beat off what would be a perfectly syncopated rhythm.
Alone – I am free to snap photos, walk the dog, sketch, and read anything from best sellers to bargain books.
I’m not completely sure why – but being outside all day is satisfying yet draining. By the time evening sets in I would most definitely have my mind zeroing in on real food, more specifically homemade pizza, and a bottle of red wine. All consumed in the safety of my porch. Twinkling holiday lights are lit year round and set a peaceful ambiance. My cheeks warm from wine, my muscles loose, my hair still wet from a quick shower to wash off the day…I would slip into bed.
Now, this really was just my weekend. What are your 20′s for – if not to be selfish?