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Off the radar: taking time out for you

I love this piece of writing, for me it really captures the beauty of taking time out for oneself in the midst of a hectic lifestyle:

“You are drinking your coffee alone at a sidewalk cafe.

You are watching people around you, families, children playing, a young woman engrossed in a book, a lost tourist trying to find his way, a man in a hurry, running to catch his bus, the leaves of a  tree now above your head.

You have no real reason to be there; you’re not meeting any one, and no one is waiting for you elsewhere. You will stay as long as you like, and leave only when you are ready. On a whim you can decide what to do and how to do it: there is something a bit dangerous and yet delicious about freedom.

You are anonymous in your own place; no one knows your age, who you are or what you do for a living. In this moment, you can regain control of your life. Feel the beating of your heart, take a deep breath, and listen to yourself. Do nothing. Absolutely nothing. Savor these stolen moments. They help you reground and belong to no one else. You alone are responsible for what happens to you.

 

Nowadays more than ever your life is organized like clockwork, everything’s planned, you go from A to B, yet at this instant your phone is turned off, no one knows what you’re doing or where you are. It’s exciting to break your own habits; you’re cheating on yourself, expanding the scope of possibilities.

 

You could just disappear. Jump into a cab and take a plane somewhere, or simply spend the day at the movies. Or you could strike up a conversation with the woman sitting next to you in the cafe, even though you’d normally be too shy, and you could ask her about her book and say “oh no I’ve never read it” and then talk about how the neighborhood has changed.  Resume your wander, stop in the park; answer when a stranger chats you up. Why not? you’ll never see him again. He won’t know your name, where you come from, your brothers’ or sisters’s names, how much you hate your ears, why you once cheated on an important math exam, or why you prefer making love in the morning. Just share the moment, suspended in time, before, slowly heading home.

You turn your phone back on, read your messages and send word to reassure the people in your life who were worried when you became momentarily silent.

Ennui is your secret garden.

And solitude can be a luxury”  Exceprt from: How to be a Parisian wherever you are.

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