The world is hard. It is also beautiful and fulfilling, but there's no shortage of hard. And I've mentioned before the importance of rest and recharging, and I want to take it one step further.
You have to create a safe space. A place that gives you peace and perspective.
Most of my safe spaces are edible. My favorite safe space is oysters, preferable $1, and a beer.
I love seafood, and I didn't have an oyster until I was 24. Where I grew up, fresh seafood was hard to find. Fresh oysters don't travel well, and frankly I didn't trust the places who offered them where I was. From afar, oysters seemed like the ultimate in East Coast indulgence - a signifier of an urban, sophisticated life I didn't have access to. Oysters were a metaphoric brass ring that I couldn't reach; one of those symbols we all create to represent a goal in our lives. Then I ate one and discovered a new safe space.
This city is hard and without a space of your own, metaphoric or not, it just gets harder.
When I ate that first oyster (and the many, many, many, since), I was able to put my choices into perspective. It was a marker of sorts: I was holding in my hand something that previously felt unattainable. When I am overwhelmed, having oysters and a beer reminds me of the work it took to get here. It reminds of the choices I made. It allows me to indulge. And, frankly, it's just delicious. It is something that makes me feel good whether I'm alone or with all of my friends. It's a place I feel safe.
Create a space that is just yours, even if it's a short activity. It's worth its weight in gold.