Where will you be, when this working day (finally!) sinks into night, when the week sails gently away on a tide of forgotten nothings and all that lies before you is hours upon hours of time, your time, to recharge your soul? Where will you be?
I hope you’ll be curled up on your couch, or dressed to the nines, or wrapped in the arms of your lover. I hope you’ll be dancing, or laughing, or hoping; ideally all three. I hope you’ll be ready for the endless possibility that is a weekend, as full or as empty of plans as you need to be.
It’s Friday, toe-tappers, so here are a few things to help you get into it.
- This excellent drawing by Lami Sbiti which ought to inspire you to never say goodbye to your inner child, especially not at a weekend. See more related illustrations on adulting (from the Guardian) here.
2. This honest, beautiful, moving and funny personal essay by Nicole Cliffe of The Toast about how she found faith and how it totally robbed her of chill. It resonated with me because I am a person of faith who is often sans chill in the face of human brokenness and kindness and she described the whole mess of it perfectly. The Toast is shutting down soon, which is the dagger in the heart I didn’t deserve, so hurry over and hang out there for as long as you can. Here’s the excerpt that made want to hug her through my computer screen:
I have been asked if deciding to become a Christian ended my exciting new crying-multiple-times-a-day hobby. The truth is that I continue to cry a lot more than I did before either Be-With-Me-Gate or the Dallas Willard Incident. I am more undone by love, or kindness, or friendship than I would have thought possible. Last night I tried to explain who Henri Nouwen was to some visiting cousins, and they had to bring me Kleenex, which they did sweetly and cautiously, as though I might melt in front of them. This morning I read a piece in Texas Monthly that literally sank me to my knees at how broken this world is, and yet how stubbornly resilient and joyful we can be in the face of that brokenness. I never possessed much chill, to be honest. Now I have none whatsoever.
There are times I feel a bit like a medieval peasant, in that I believe wholly in God now, but don’t always do what he wants, or, like Scarlett O’Hara, put hard conversations with him off until I’ve done the thing I wanted to do. It’s a thrumming backdrop to the rest of my life. My Christian conversion has granted me no simplicity. It has complicated all of my relationships, changed how I feel about money, messed up my public persona, and made me wonder if I should be on Twitter at all.
Obviously, it’s been very beautiful.
3. This horrifically racist washing detergent ad from a Chinese company I’m not even going to bother to name. How is this a fun thing, you ask? I mean, the girl puts a tab of detergent in his mouth, so as to ensure a thorough removal of his blackness. If you can’t laugh at that, you’ll cry. So, laugh instead.
4. Now over a month old but still my current fav, this Drake song Feel No Ways from his new tissue-paper smooth album, Views. I love Drake, I love his nonsense lyrics, I love his unshaven beard, I love the glint in his eye and the discordance of his dance-steps. I love him so much I even love this song, which is really about your most annoying and entitled ex-boyfriend, who always somehow feels like he is owed your time and attention. As my friend says, this song is a strawberry jam.
5. Finally this total fire Ask Polly letter from (apparently) a September 2014 edition of New York Magazine. I came across it last week and since then I have shared it on Twitter, I’ve emailed it to at least 25 people, I’ve printed it out and handed it to pretty much all of my ‘why am I still single’ friends here in Lagos and as I type this I’m seriously considering sticking it on the office fridge door.
It’s not even that it’s ground breaking stuff- , the whole thing can be summarised as ‘be kind to yourself’ or something equally trite- it’s just how insightful Polly was in diagnosing the real issue. A girl writes in asking why the men she dates don’t love her and Polly realises the issue is this girl is trying to make herself loveable, rather than accepting that as her baseline status. How many of us do that? Nip and tuck at ourselves to earn someone’s love or attention? It’s so easy I think to feel that a reaction/feeling/characteristic/genuine desire of ours is outrageous and that we’re not allowed to have it for no good reason, and then take that feeling and twist it into actions that benefit literally everyone but ourselves. It’s so easy and such an enormous act of self-sabotage. Anyway- .read the whole thing here but before that, read this little excerpt and get your damn life!
Because let me tell you the god’s honest truth: A lot of women out there are afraid of being something. The template for us is pretty clear: We are meant to have clean skin, a pleasant demeanor, and a nice rack. I’m not speaking up against nice racks, Lord knows. But there are lots of ladies around me, everywhere I go, who hesitate to say what they’re thinking and feeling. They go with the flow, they never make waves. And eventually, they don’t even seem to know what makes them who they are. They live to serve. They read the books that other people are reading. They say the pleasant things that other people are saying. They never put their needs first, unless it indirectly serves someone else — a manicure, some highlights. They make sure everyone around them is 100 percent satisfied. Like grocery-store managers. Like customer service reps. Like masseuses who also give free happy endings.
It’s time to forget about being lovable. And in fact, it’s time to forsake someone else’s idea of what gives you a spark or no spark. Block the “other” from this picture. No more audience. You are the cherished and the cherisher. You are the eminently lovable and the lover. You are a million brilliant sparks, flashing against a midnight sky. Stop making room for someone else to sit down. Fuck “good” partners. Fuck waiting to be let in. You are already in. You are in. Cherish yourself.
Fuck wondering if you’re lovable. Fuck asking someone else, “Am I there yet?” Fuck listening for the answer. Fuck waiting, alone, for a verdict that never comes. Don’t grow up to be one of those women with a perpetual question mark etched into her brow: Am I good? Am I lovable? Am I enough?
You are here. Sit down. Feel your potential in this moment. You have accepted too little for too long. That is changing today. Breathe in. Draw a picture of yourself. Tape it to the wall, with the words: YOU ARE HERE. You are here. Cherish yourself.
Okay that’s it. Today’s featured image is of a rumpus of sleepy baby golden retrievers because look at them!
GO FORTH AND FROLIC.