Treat Yourself

The past two weeks have been quite chaotic, as the faint buzzing in my ears from residual stress and caffeine intake can attest to. So far, in a mere two weeks I have managed to:

  • Finish the entirety of Dante’s Purgatorio 
  • Read The Qur’an
  • Read the entirety of Plato’s Republic
  • Discuss the true meaning of justice in a philosophical paper
  • Write an essay on the double entendre in Old English riddles
  • Read some Canterbury Tales (in Middle English, mind)
  • Begin a swimming routine at the Fife Leisure Center
  • Compete in a six kilometer cross country race
  • Embark on a nine mile pleasure run

How I managed to accomplish all of these tasks in such a short time, on top of regularly attending my lectures and tutorials, is beyond me. Though I enjoy being a busy bee, I feel as though I have had barely any time to devote to the people who are important to me, such as my parents. While I make a point to Skype with them at least once a week, I feel as though I haven’t seen their faces in ages. Quite distressing indeed.

But soft! This coming week is known as Consolidation Week, which offers a bit of respite in the long haul to the holiday in December. I will not have English or Comparative Literature classes all next week, so I have some time to breathe, get my coursework completed at reasonable times (perhaps even ahead of schedule!) so I may begin preparing myself for exams and my eventual return at Yuletide.

Amongst the haze of coursework, though, I have managed to squeeze in some wee adventures. Last Saturday, after a very vexing bout with an Old English essay, I woke up and decided to go to Pittenweem on a whim. I mostly just liked the name. Pittenweem is a wee town on the Fife Coast just south of Anstruther; it seems as though I am continually pushing south on the Fife Coast in my adventures, seeing what lies just beyond the bend in the road.

Pittenweem was a delightful coastal town. If one ever finds themselves in this area, I highly recommend a stop at The Cocoa Tree. Here I ordered stick-to-your-bones bean soup to warm the coggles of my heart on this blustery day, and needless to say, it made me red in the face and jovial. Also, The Cocoa Tree is renowned for their hot chocolate. Essentially you are drinking a melted chocolate bar. Can a place be any more perfect?

This jaunt was part of a grand scheme I have adopted for second year that I have deemed Treat Yourself (as the youths say). As some of my followers have discerned, I was actually quite melancholic upon my return to university. Perhaps it is a certain woe that comes with being a twenty-something: the expectation of being an adult yet having none of the knowledge to be such. This has been a constant source of worry and vexation for me as of late.

However, I slowly came to this realization: I can either be completely consumed by this uncertainty, the self-doubt that comes with being a young adult, or I can simply laugh at the sky and enjoy being young. I am trying so very hard to do the latter. Lately I have been doing things for myself more; a sort of “self care” regimen in order to be a happier and more carefree person. Such things have included:

  • Spending time down by the sea
  • Wandering aimlessly and smiling at all the passersby
  • Asking people politely if I may pet their dogs. Thanking them.
  • Writing more.
  • Cooking tasty and wholesome meals for myself (and maybe a friend)
  • Being more generous
  • Going on spontaneous adventures
  • Exercising because it makes me feel strong and lively, not solely for weight loss or any other such nonsense
  • Not worrying about my appearance
  • Laughing more freely
  • Learning to accept compliments

The more I take time for myself, the more I see the positive outcomes. My struggles with body-image have slowly been fading away. I look and feel healthier. I find myself smiling more often. I am falling in love with the exuberance of life once again. Though there are days when the melancholy creeps back, I simply call my most favorite person in the world, my mother, and everything is peaceful once more.

Also, I have been quite inspired by the film The Dead Poet’s Society as of late, and adopted carpe diem as the sub-heading to all of this rejuvenation. I think the two go quite well together, treating oneself and seizing the day. Life, especially as a young adult, is all about seizing opportunities to make each day magical. I intend to do so.

Originally written 19 October 2013

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