Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Freedom Felt

Photo by Alice Popkorn
I started working on this piece a couple days before my birthday.  I posted a sneak peek to get some feedback on what I'd written so far.  It is my pleasure to FINALLY share the finished product.  I hope that you enjoy it as much as that moment felt to me.


XOXO


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I took myself to lunch today.  Alone.  

I travel by myself often, so I am used to eating and exploring alone.  This time is different.  I am home.  I don't have the visage of security and anonymity that you get when you're out of town.  When you're away from home, fear of how others view you and what they may think about what you do doesn't matter. You feel more comfortable being authentic.  You can be anyone you want to be when no one knows you. 

It can be harder to be alone at home.  The minute that you get back, the every day mask gets reattached to your face.  You become more sensitive, but you hide it behind the mask.  

You're not quite as anonymous as before.  There is this need to invite someone to come with just to avoid the solitude.  To escape the voice in your head that tells you that you are standing out for all the wrong reasons.  You are different.  Something is wrong.  Someone may see you and think that you are some lonely cat lady with no friends.  That inner voice can be relentless.

So here I am, two days before my 37th birthday at a cute little restaurant around the corner from my job.  Alone.  As I was being ushered to my table, I notice a table 3 women in the corner.  One of the women is staring at me in wonderment.  I  smile softly to ease the rising discomfort.  The waitress clears the second place setting and smiles.  I bask in the sunlight from the window nearby, then I take out my notebook and start writing.

Any time I've eaten at this restaurant, I've only ordered an entrĂ©e.  It's a rarity that I get an appetizer with my meal, but since I was taking my favorite girl out to lunch, I thought that the occasion deserved a little something extra.  If the restaurant wasn't a BYOB, I may have even ordered a glass of wine.

I sip my water and glance around to find the same woman staring at me.  I ignore her and continue writing.  I can hear them talking.  *whisper whisper* "..by herself."  *whisper whisper*  "She's writing." *whisper whisper*  
I found it amusing and a little sad that dining alone or being alone in general is frowned upon or not normal.  I wasn't expecting that from the ladies.

It turned out to be a very pleasant experience.  Instead of focusing so much on the reaction of others, I focused more on being in the moment.  I heard the music, thoroughly enjoyed every bite of my food, and wrote until my heart was content.  Surprisingly, I felt a sense of freedom.  For a moment, I felt as if I wasn't working a full-time job.  I didn't even notice anyone else around me.

I had control of my time and space.  I was able to spend my time doing what I wanted: to eat great food at a cute spot.  In that moment, I felt freedom.  There was quiet.  There was light.  There was peace and everything just ... was.  It was everything that I've ever dreamed.  

Have you ever had a moment where you felt freedom?  Was it your hope to experience it in that way or was it unexpected?  What have you done to feel that way again and more often?

We'd love to hear from you.  As always, your comments are very helpful to the community, so become a part of the discussion!


Photo credit lurve: Photo by Alice Popkorn

2 comments:

  1. My liberation has been through the practice of my CDFs and Orgasmic Meditation. I was making myself crazy listening to other people (folks I know and biz books) tell me I had niche and target market to be successful. Through this work, I've allowed myself to show up as my whole self in every aspect of my life, bringing me closer to my own personal freedom.

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  2. Beautiful! It makes me sad that so many people feel unable to be in public on their own.

    When I was a student I used to love to take myself out to lunch, or occasionally to watch a movie, just me and me. I haven't had that freedom lately through busyness and lack of transport, but today for the first time I have full use of the car on a weekday and plan to begin using it for some precious and much needed me-time.

    Thank you for this reminder of how good it feels!

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