Wednesday’s Acts of Self Care

Yesterday was ROUGH. I woke up feeling crappy and the rest of the day just continued the pattern. I didn’t get enough sleep, which led to little patience for anything, which led to just a bad mood all around. I slept better last night and I’ve been taking it easy before work today. Hopefully today will be better.

I bleached and dyed my hair on Monday and it was damaged to say the least, so I put on a hair mask this morning for some self care. It’s amazing how my mood shifts when I take care of myself.

I hope all of you are having a good day. How do you practice self care when you have an off day?

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Her, alone

She drove until she reached the forest, camped there for the night, and drove on to the next. It had been a week-long journey with no defined end. Teary-eyed and broken-hearted, she made the spontaneous decision to travel by car until she couldn’t remember his name. Or at least until it didn’t hurt to think about his bright blue eyes and his contagious smile.

She inhaled sharply as she merged into the right lane on the vast and ever lonely stretch of highway. She had just passed the only car she’d seen in the last five hours and the weight of her reality had been pulling her deeper and deeper into a pit of sadness, like a ton of bricks on her barely beating heart.

When she decided on this trip, she didn’t realize how depressing it would be. Traveling alone is clearly lonely, but she realized this just too late. It should have been obvious beforehand. Any sane person would’ve known traveling alone is as lonely as it gets. But she wasn’t sane. She was a grand mess- hair askew, nail polish chipping, the same shirt she’d been wearing since he told her he found someone new. She couldn’t bring herself to buy new clothes.

Work called her yesterday when she didn’t show up for her shift. She had a long talk with her boss about love and life and to make sure to keep them up to date on when she’s coming back. She was fortunate enough to have a job she could leave and come back to as she pleased. She was also fortunate enough to have the money saved up to go on an indefinite endeavor across the country.

None of that mattered, though, because the whole time she was miserable. She wanted to go home, but couldn’t bring herself to head that way. A part of her wanted to live out here. She was in the forests of Washington, thousands of miles from home. All she had were the clothes on her back and her water bottle, but the thought of stopping at home to collect her things- where her now-ex-boyfriend also lives- made her nauseous. She thought a lot about just how hard it would be to transfer to the Seattle brand, get an apartment, new clothes, furniture.

She found herself surveying houses in the suburbs. This one’s too small, that one’s got no driveway, this one would be nice. Oh, and an open house. It won’t hurt to go in. I can say I’m thinking of moving out here from Massachusetts. It’s true and doesn’t invite too many questions I can’t answer. Oh, and it’s cheap, too. I could afford this if I transferred to the Seattle branch. I should call my boss….

Summer of running away

Echoes of gas stations,

shitty coffee,

sunken eyes and unkempt hair

swarm my mind

as I drive down a desolate road

in the dead of winter.

My coffee, hot as all hell,

stains my shirt and burns my throat.

I was homesick

for an imaginary place.

I had been searching for my home

but nothing stuck,

nothing but loneliness, empty roads

and the taste of burnt coffee grounds-

maybe that’s my home now.

At least they can’t break my heart.

Album Recommendations: Act 1 – Morbid Stuff / PUP

Just before writing Shan’s story, I listened to Morbid Stuff, an album by PUP on my record player. I listened to it all the way through and it struck a chord deep inside me. I related to it on a personal level to the point I knew I had to write something about it. When the album ended, I turned the record over and listened again, typing urgently. I wouldn’t necessarily call myself a nihilist, but I have my moments. And this album brought those moments out.

I recommend listening in full, but my favorite track off it is the second track Kids.

Seen.

I have this need to be seen,

something I haven’t much felt before.

It’s strong, a yearning for standing in busy malls

and sitting in the middle of the coffee shop.

I’ve never felt this kind of yearning;

I fear if I’m not seen I‘ll be forgotten

and what am I but what others perceive?

And so I go to the coffee shop,

I order myself a medium iced mocha

and I melt into the people around me.

I listen but I don’t stare. 

I am what you make of me. 

I am nothing

I am just another body and face

I am not a soul

I do not have my own free will

I do not have my own thoughts

I am what you make of me

I am the idea of me you created

I am nothing

I am nothing. 

I thought I’d never feel whole again

I found solace under a tree,

planted new life where you used to be.

There was nothing elegant about it,

it was beautiful in the way you find yourself

at your lowest point, alone with thoughts and grief.

But I can feel again,

and that has to mean something.

There’s new life in my veins.

I can feel it when it rains,

but I can’t say it’s the same.

That early morning dew smell

7:21 am.

Window slightly cracked,

a cool breeze passes

and I awake.

The smell of dew

and birds chirping

make me feel something

I haven’t felt in a while.

I never wake up this early,

but my window outlooks the east

and I can see the sun rising-

it’s beautiful,

almost enough to keep me awake.

I haven’t written in a month,

it’s been a tough summer,

but there’s something about 

cool summer mornings.

I don’t feel so broken.