In two separate moments over the weekend I decided to give myself a break.
First, I was killing time inside Nordstrom Rack before an event. I wandered the store looking at purses and thinking about how most of the clothes on display wouldn't look good on me. I saw my reflection in the mirror and was disgusted by the acne on the side of my face. Like hundreds of times before, I thought about how this shouldn't be happening to a 22 year old, how I'm out of puberty already, and how bad I looked. And I felt bad. But this time I was fed up these thoughts. I was fed up with the idea that I was spending time and energy berating myself for something as uncontrollable as my face. I was fed up with the idea that my face should even matter - the idea that my worth as a person should be impacted at all by some zits. That it should impact my mood at all. I realized that I could give myself a break. That I could decide that my face really does not matter. It is definitely not easy - it is so ingrained - but I am trying to let myself off the hook - to decide that self-deprecating thoughts about my appearance just aren't worth the time an energy. To decide that I don't have to have them at all. I took this photo and posted it to Instagram to commemorate my decision:
The next morning I woke up with a massive, self-imposed to-do list. Things I needed to do, tasks that I should have been doing, and things that I wanted to do. And when I didn't feel like doing them, I told myself that I really should, that I was wasting a Sunday, one of a few, precious entirely free days. I thought about all of the people who have more commitments and responsibilities than I do and yet get way more done. I admonished myself for not making the most of my time like they do. But again, this time I was tired of these thoughts. I was tired of guilt-tripping myself. Tired of comparing myself. Tired of thinking of a to-do list as something that I'm trying to wipe clean. Instead, I want to do things because I want to do them, because I will be so happy with the process or the end result. I want to hang frames because I want to see lovely artwork on my walls, not because I need to get the frames off the floor because real adults don't have frames all over the floor. I want to work on a project because it excites and inspires me, not because it is the next on my list. I want to leave room to play and explore and be spontaneous. And I want to be okay with not doing any of the things on the list and not beating myself up about it.
I want to give myself a break.