Sometimes I get so used to being in the dark that I don’t know how to act when the lights come on. Having adapted to navigating the spaces around me by tentatively feeling my way around, limbs outstretched, moving slowly so as not to inadvertently knock something over or hurt myself, it takes some adjusting when suddenly I can see everything around me and move without fear.
Yesterday the lights were on all day. I didn’t even notice at first, but after breezing through my morning routine and arriving early (EARLY!) to my appointment, it occurred to me that there was something different about that day. I felt different. I felt… good? The sensation was so foreign to me that I was initially dumbfounded about what I was supposed to do next.
I kept it simple; I was hungry, so I decided to have lunch. A quick Yelp survey of my current location reminded me that I was minutes away from a restaurant that I’d always wanted to try. Perfect.
The restaurant was cute and my agenda was void of any plans, so I decided to dine in. Instead of immersing myself in a book or listening to a podcast, I decided to soak in my surroundings. I swayed to the acoustic pop covers wafting from the stereo in the corner. I let my brain wander and jotted down some story ideas on a napkin. I politely eavesdropped on the college students next to me, telling their tales of early 20s drama and woe. I really looked at my food and analyzed the presentation, the textures, the aroma, the squeak of the utensils against the plate.
It was bizarre to be so present. I didn’t feel like I needed to escape the moment or distract myself with words or music. I wasn’t anxious about anything. I wasn’t sad. I was comfortable. I felt…good. Happy?
I’m glad that I took myself to lunch yesterday. It was invigorating to bask in the light instead of worrying about how long it would take before things got dark again. To anyone else, I was just a woman eating alone at a restaurant, but if they only knew… this was a celebratory meal and it certainly called for dessert.