In my soul lives a homebody. Happiest, she sips herbal tea and reads fantasy novels, bathes by glow of candles made of moons and drifts of woods. Actualized, she home-makes, finds harmony in color palettes and admires the look of light in rooms as it shifts through the day. From its spread into the morning grey as pinks, bold brights of the afternoon, back to the buttery brilliance of golds as the Sun starts for sleep, I rise early. I bake, indulging my love for dessert, watching period pieces, pruning the basil who bursts forth in abundance. We cook massive amounts of produce, saving much money on restauranteering, savoring Earthy goodness that nourishes our temporal homes known as bodies. And I sleep. I sleep regular, and soundly, and softy.
For an entire decade, these possibilities were ignored in pursuit of public music-making then documenting drag queens. I sometimes look back and wonder what was the purpose, or moreso, why I had no balance between social life and home comforts. My little mouse self had trouble in social situations without booze and, even now, that anxious little bean still lives inside me. I only embraced coziness while I was rundown from running to-and-fro in nightlife. Even the most outgoing extroverted party people likely relate to this reality. We self-care when we can’t push our bodies any further. Not really much of a life.
We’re not all meant to be hyper-social.
Success had little ties to my presence in nightlife community, as much as I told myself I was “networking”. Our business plan has been at a steady spot, growth only slightly rising in sloth pace over the years, nothing worth sacrificing sleep over just to show a tiny bit of support. When there is a mortgage to pay, prioritizing getting paid and honoring your emotions and environment becomes the smart move. Staying in was not what I wanted to do initially, but the quick add-whiskey-instant-fun impulses racked up more negative results, only to stand in the way of my long-term goals. I discovered I had many reasons to not go out at all.
They say if you’re bored, you’re boring. Going to the dive bar and drinking/drugging yourself into relaxation on the regular is an easy option to be less bored. You hang out with people you don’t actually like. You waste your money to be hungover in the morning. It’s necessary to make boundaries in drinking culture if you have productivity and money goals. While I dwindled down to “going out” once or twice a month, these experiences only reminded me of how vapid and empty many of my exchanges with “friends” had been. When I stopped drinking all together, I had no use to go to certain places. My wallet bulked up, I randomly lost weight, I was significantly less stressed. It was miraculous! Or was it?
In the separation from nightlife, my energy had radically shifted in astounding ways. A return to my “origins” (interests, disposition, outlook) was accruing naturally. Early-rising work and its requirement of daily physical activity meant earlier bedtimes, the sweat or cold from outdoor elements had me embracing more baths, naps… To do well at my “day job”, I needed to rest. I kept up my immunity and was choosy about how I spent my time. I cozed up in study and observation with an inquisition into what it would be to embrace a space of Magick, imagination, routine. Even the question of what it would be to save money and cook meals at home opened doors for me. This experiment paved a path towards the life I hope to live in the next decade.
I would even argue that I’m meant to mostly stay at home. And that’s okay. I’m not content to have friends I see only in bars. I don’t want to spend any amount of money I have on booze… period. At first this transition was isolating, but certain darling dears kept in touch. I started visiting gardens, going on coffee dates, visiting museums. Once a month, we would host an intimate gathering with our closest people and the quality over quantity came alive before my eyes. I honored my instincts and the ideal social situations somehow came through for me with ease. I have no idea what the latest drama is in the scene; there are far less broken records, struggles and sordidity surrounding my life. How sweet it is to rediscover the simplicity of selective socializing! If you’re stuck within a rut, try something new, right away. You may discover that what you were doing was not really for you. Don’t let another year go by doing the same-old-same-old, especially if you’ve been running on fumes, feeling dull, depressed or worn-out. When you make more time for you, the rest will follow.
Images: Kristin Askland