Maria Day!

Apr 12, 2014 by

My Maria day cake!

My Maria day cake!

          When my friends found out that I went to Niagara alone one evening after work at the beginning of March and to Cuba alone for two days at the end of March, some responded with, “You should have told me! I would have come with you!” This makes me laugh every time, because it demonstrates their inability to fathom both my purpose in going places by myself once in a while and the concept that I enjoy doing so. They don’t understand that I choose to spend time with myself. I’m not forced to because I can’t find people to go out with. As made evident by their reactions, I clearly know people who wouldn’t hesitate to hop in my car for a drive to Niagara or catch a plane with me for a weekend in Cuba; I just wanted some me time.

          My friend Lisa is one of the few that gets it. She wrote a post, And in this pocket of stillness, that discusses the importance of pausing for some alone time. Time alone allows for introspection. This is precisely why I went to Niagara by myself to celebrate my anniversary of The Happiness Experiment. I wanted to be in one of my happy places to reflect on the changes I had implemented within my life in the year since deciding to go for happiness. Yeah, I could have brought friends along, but then past me wouldn’t have gotten her much-needed letter. I wouldn’t have had the opportunity to dip into my thoughts on the previous year and pride myself on my progress. I love being around people. I often am, which is exactly why I need to set aside time for me. Lisa made a point about losing yourself if you’re always with people. I think she’s right. At times when I’m constantly on the go and my social calendar is rammed, I feel like my mind is so full of other people’s words and opinions that I can’t remember my own until I sit down by myself to write them. It’s a beautiful thing to find yourself, and I owe my ongoing self-discovery to the time I spend alone with my thoughts that form the composition of this blog.

          While out on Thursday night, Lisa and I were talking about fear of loneliness. It seems that people busy themselves because of it. I understand this. I used to be scared of being alone too. I used to cling to my best friend, because being by myself reminded me of how lonely I was. Now that I have an abundance of friends, I no longer equate being alone with loneliness because being alone is now a choice. I opt for time to myself. When I do, simply knowing that I have friends makes solitude peaceful and not at all lonely.

          Last night, my friend and I were supposed to go on a foodie adventure to a new restaurant, but she let me know late Thursday that she had to cancel. On Friday morning, I reached out to other friends to make new plans, even though I honestly felt like a chill night to myself. When I acknowledged that it was only because it was Friday that I felt obligated to go out with friends, I stopped my fingers from texting any more people, and I asked myself what I could do with my Friday that would make me happiest. My answer was to have a Maria day.

          A Maria day is time to myself to do whatever the hell I feel like doing. I’ve wanted to have a Maria day since Christmas time, when Olivia came up with the idea of having an Olivia day to recover after a few extremely busy weeks at school that had her constantly surrounded by other people. It had been over three months since then, and I had yet to make time for my own day. Since my friend couldn’t make last night’s dinner plans, it seemed like the perfect opportunity to squeeze in a Maria day. Yesterday, that strangely included going to the mall. I despise shopping, but I occasionally get the urge to browse windows in search of a new outfit, often motivated by a gift card left over from Christmas. I walked around the mall across the street from my (ex-)apartment for a bit, didn’t see anything I liked, and then headed to the grocery store to buy a mini La Rocca cake, which I planned to eat in its entirety while watching the final episodes of How I Met Your Mother that I had been avoiding (because I didn’t want the show to end) but secretly dying to watch. I took the long way home, because it was Maria day and I felt like a sunny drive. Once in my bedroom, I got cozy in pajamas, busted out my already half-eaten cake, and reminisced about New York as I said an emotional goodbye to the only TV show that I watch. Awesome Friday night!

Happiness Tip: Have a [insert your name here] day!

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