Sunday, February 16, 2014

Countdown to 30: 30 days, 30 Lessons (Day 27 - Recognize Your Safe Spaces)

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.


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