The past six months of my life have been all about studying and making it as a freelancer. The few breaks I got were used doing pretty mundane things, and except for the time spent with my beloved boyfriend or with my friends, I didn’t really relax. My mind was always elsewhere, worrying about money, time, work, papers to write, books to read, and bills to pay.
I have always had a hard time cutting myself some slack. I’m constantly pushing myself to do more, and if I don’t do more (because, along with perfectionism, comes the tendency to procrastinate. Really, these two fekkers are like conjoined twins or something!) I beat myself up almost to the point of exhaustion. But yesterday I chose differently. I chose to enjoy the liberty of having a work-free day, and decided to walk around town like a tourist.
I had a morning appointment in a neighbourhood of my city that is internationally known for being a tourist hotspot, and I planned on meeting a friend for lunch afterwards, but she had to cancel because she was stuck at work. Normally, I’d just jump into the nearest metro station and head back home. Yesterday, I chose to relax. I chose to really, truly enjoy the fact that, objectively speaking, I had nothing too important to do all day, so I headed to a nice restaurant with a view to the ocean and had lunch all by myself – something that I just missed doing.
The food wasn’t amazing as I expected it would be, but what really counts is that I finally gave myself a break after all these months of long hours and hard work. I gave myself permission to have pleasure, which is something that can be hard for me at times. I actually enjoyed the fact that this has been a slow week work-wise, and I chose to use it in my favour, instead of rushing back home and feeling sorry for not having more work to do.
I hope to learn how to balance work and pleasure someday, but even if I do, I know I’ll always have to remind myself that life is more than just commitments and appointments. Sometimes, a friend cancelling lunch can be a good thing. Sometimes it’s just the push you need to turn on the tourist switch and act as carefree as you can. You might even have a few pictures to show for it.
(Photo by me)