My therapist had suggested that I write about how I pictured my typical ideal day so that I would be able to understand what I wanted from life: career, hobbies, fitness, relationships. You name it. So I did what I always do with such a monumental task. I avoided it like the plague. I didn’t want to face the fact that I may not be doing what I actually want to do. I may have wasted years on higher education. It’s scary. But then today happened. Today, on my day off, my boss called to yell at me because I chose to not work a seven-day work week without getting paid for two of those days. I feel horrible when I get reprimanded. I feel guilty and such shame. Why don’t I bite the bullet and just work unpaid? BECAUSE IT’S FUCKING ILLEGAL!!! I have to remind myself that he wants to manipulate me. Being a team player used to mean something to me. It meant acceptance even though I felt alone. Fuck it, I’m ripping off the band-aid and finally figuring out how I envision my ideal life:
I wake up at 6AM. Refreshed, happy to be alive, and can see without the need of glasses. I put on my running clothes, walk downstairs and let the dog out. I brush my hair and teeth. The dog comes back in as I put on my running shoes. I grab the dog’s leash and step out the door. I forgot my iPod, again, but that’s okay. The dog and I walk towards the end of the housing compound. The gate is locked. At the corner I see a small supermarket, a coffee shop, and a bar. The dog and I continue to walk towards the park. There is a historical building on the side and I can hear running water. As soon as I get to the path near the water, I start running. It’s a fun and easy run, one that I do every day; the dog is used to the routine.
After three miles, we walk back but not before I let the dog charge at the ducks. At home, I give the dog food and water before I hop into the shower. My routine is simple: shower, clothes, hair, no make-up (I’ve finally accepted my lack of make up without shame), clean up bedroom, let dog out again, pack my lunch and then finally breakfast: a nice homemade smoothie with a spinach wrap. I’ve mastered how to make a fantastic wrap! I wash the dishes before I head out the door with my heels in my bag.
I walk towards the coffee shop getting my daily dose of heaven, just a small cup of coffee in my personalize cup. No more lattes, etc. Simply coffee. I don’t have to worry about the morning commute because I don’t drive anymore. I sold my car years ago. If I need a vehicle, I can ride the moped or rent a car. But I usually take public transportation or I bike. I’ve mastered the bicycle. Today I choose to take public transportation because I bought a coffee and I remembered to bring my book that I bought at the second-hand shop. Another one for the library collection.
Work isn’t too far away, maybe 30 minutes. At 10AM, I’ve beaten most of rush hour. I have less anxiety because if I’m five or ten minutes late, no one is breathing down my neck. I’m trusted. I feel safe at work. I’m appreciated. I’m working on a variety of things: researching a cultural identities to better understand the community that I will be serving, writing thank you cards of appreciation for the donations that came, learning a new language because I want to be able to communicate with the community, working with contractors on designing new projects and brainstorming new ideas about how to better serve underrepresented communities. Maybe we need to build another school, train teachers in first aid, or help parents learn new train skills while retaining cultural identity. Maybe a holiday is coming up and we just need a festival. I’ve learned to be sneaky. Slip on shoes under my desk and heels as well, just in case I have to get up or make a presentation.
I rush off to lunch in the building’s cafeteria. I have my food but I need a place to heat it up because I still refuse to eat sandwiches or salads. BARF! The cafeteria is always busy and after several failed attempts, I find a seat near a window. I sit and savor my food. I’m no longer confined to the thirty minute lunch schedule. I’m not reading during lunch. Instead I save the book for the ride back home. Instead, I people watch as the sun shines on my face. I hurry back to work because I am excited about writing new proposals for the ideas that were thought of in the earlier brainstorming meeting. I like my job. It isn’t stagnant. The mission and direction are clear. We are there for the betterment of the people. Everyone is on the same page with a “we can do it” attitude. Office gossip exists and is tolerated but everyone is too busy working that gossip doesn’t run wild. At four o clock, I take a quick snack break: tea, cheese, fruit, and a few crackers, before I leave for on-site visits.
On-site visits, to see how well projects are coming on, are my favorite part of the day. Seeing projects come to fruition are always fun. Finding loopholes and potential hazards are welcomed. I’m not afraid of getting my hands dirty so if I have to paint, I will paint or sweep. Whatever. I’ll do it. I enjoy doing real work and collaborating for a better future. I don’t have to wear heels for potential donors. Instead I can wear sneakers and an old torn t-shirt.
I come home roughly around 6:30PM. After a quick pee break, it’s off to walk the dog one last time around the neighborhood and to the supermarket. I stopped buying food for the week. Instead of relying on preservatives to keep it fresh, I just buy it everyday. I learned to do this while living in England. The dog manages to stay outside.
Dinner is another quick meal of chicken, rice, hummus and veggies. Don’t forget my wine! I’m really boring when it comes to food. I have my go to meal that I can eat everyday for the rest of my life. I know it sounds horrible but I find comfort in the ordinary. If I can eat my food then certainly my dog can as well. Dogs can eat veggies, right? I know not onions but other veggies.
My relaxation varies. I like to read, scrapbook, dance or sew. I learn different dances because I learn about a culture. I learn what survives and what evolves over time. I don’t have dance practice today so I decide to sew. Sewing has a purpose. I need purposes to do things. This time my sewing is making blankets for homeless/refugees/survivors to keep warm. My friends think I’m crazy but will often join me by making one or two especially if I can provide the material. Sometimes I like to sew the costumes for dance groups that can’t afford them. I’ve learned over the years how to write compelling letters asking for donations for material.
Bedtime is at 10:30. I want to read some James Joyce, Rudolfo Anaya, Michele Serros, or Henry James but I am too tired. Maybe after I finish the book I am currently on. My bedroom is nice and dark. I’m no longer forced to have a television in my room. My computer and cell are somewhere downstairs. My bed is for sleeping only. The dog jumps on the bed and finds his place near my feet.
Another peaceful yet successful day.
This is how I picture my life but there are a few holes.
- Where is my significant other?
- Who takes care of my dog while I am away?
- Why don’t I talk to coworkers?
- Why do I barely mention friends?
- How do I rest my brain for my recovery?
- Is this just another form on codependency, by helping everyone out?
- Are there men out there who are willing to adapt to this life style?
- Will my career choices ultimately keep me single?