Swooning by Self
My birthday was a wonderfully full day...pampering, hugs, texts, facebook posts, phone calls, wine, cake, FOOD. I went to bed incredibly happy, but also incredibly exhausted. Introverts and birthdays...now there's a tricky combination indeed. I knew to expect this, and had already set up a "birthday to myself" date with well, ME. I did this last year and found it immensely beneficial to my psyche and soul.
Now I am a girl with an incredibly full social calendar. I would never complain about this, for all of my interactions are relationships I love and are never obligatory, but even the most talented of introverts (talented at balancing their social/private lives, that is) would be hard-pressed to keep up. My relationships are deeply meaningful to me. That being said, wasn't it __________ who said, "There is no relationship as important as the relationship you have with yourself." (Well darn you google...I can't find it). Though this may be a bit extreme, I heartily agree with the underlying sentiment. After the upheaval of the last few months, my relationship with myself (naturally so) has been put on the back burner. It was nice, for a day, to reconnect and spoil myself. I hope to do it more often.
I donned a pretty new dress (one my sis bought for me) with a lacy vintage slip peaking out. I applied a bit too much blush. I wore my favorite boots and drove off to Seattle blaring Puccini. I started at Oddfellows Cafe with the newspaper, a baguette with strawberry jam, and an endless cup of coffee. It was crowded, but I truly must be a city girl, because I just love a noisy cafe. My thoughts are louder than when in complete country silence and I feel much more secure.
I need the world to whirl around me sometimes to know that I am truly sitting still.
After I finished up the riveting Seattle Times (I also love to reconnect with this city; her restaurant openings, her museum exhibitions, her liberal banter), I broke out my journal. Despite having a list of correspondence to catch up on, I realized that the one letter I really needed to write was to myself.
I asked those questions, you know the ones. "Am I happy with my life continuing as it is?" I stated the desires of my heart, "I want a new haircut. I want to be pregnant." I made a potential schedule of a writer's life and faced the latent fear of why I've never really embraced it before. Would doing this art thing FOR REAL change how Mrs. Muse visits me? I am petrified to apply a business lens to her. I thought about the Hemingway quote that Jess posted in her birthday tribute to me. He said to himself, "Do not worry. You have always written before and you will write now. All you have to do is write one true sentence. Write the truest sentence you know." I looked at my marriage...how could I check in with Joel more to feel if he is truly being loved. Can a relationship be not one's first priority and still be as rich as it used to be? What is 8 years of marriage...what is normal in the ebb and flow of love? I've recently been inspired by the blog, Today's Letters wherein one wife writes a sentence per day to her husband about how she loves him. They reconnect every Tuesday night with a few questions, one of them being, "How did you feel loved this week." I thought about the composition of my photography and worked on a purpose statement. These little thoughts were stuck inside of me and it feel beyond cathartic to let them have uninterrupted free reign for a few hours.
After breakfast, I fed the meter, bought some postcards at Elliot Bay Books and then walked the ten blocks to another (my favorite) bookstore Half Price Books. I had really been missing Sylvia since finishing her letters and journals, so I decided to start in on the plethora of biographies. I settled on one entitled, "Her Husband" by Diane Middlebrook. After reading a bit in the bookstore, I wandered next door to B&O Espresso where I promptly ordered a glass of wine and a hummus plate and got deep into the book. The lunch rush soon died down, and for a few hours, I was the only on in the place. So perfect.
Sylvia Plath (albeit full of whiskey) actually BIT Ted Hughes on the night they met.
She's so strange and AWESOME.
Also, he totally deserved it.
You deserve to be romanced.
I believe it is important for it to come from those you love,
but also equally valuable for it to come from yourself.
What have you done for you lately?
p.s. a mysterious necklace arrived from etsy this week, but i am not sure who to thank for it. reveal yourself!