Photo of a plate of food, hands by the side lifting food from main plate to side plate

My lovely sister gifted me a voucher for one of the stylish, new restaurants in my neighbourhood.

It was an immensely generous gift that at first, I planned to use with her, but she suggested I enjoy it myself or spend it on a night with my friends. It’s taken me many months to use it because: a) I could never wrangle up free time and b) although I wanted to try, I wasn’t too sure about eating alone at a nice restaurant. I finally decided to give it a go this month along with the challenge I set for myself. I negotiated some free time in my calendar completely for myself and booked a spot for one to try their tasting menu. 

I’m glad I overcame the worries that kept creeping up with my thoughts of, ‘what will people think’ as I allowed myself to enjoy some food and drink all by myself. I brought some pages of my current manuscript which I’ve wanted to edit, and again despite the thoughts of ‘what will people think’, I allowed myself to become immersed in work that I enjoyed and felt meaning in. 

It was a glorious afternoon filled with blue sky and soft sunshine. I took the opportunity to walk to the restaurant, and intentionally be mindful and present as I made my way. When I arrived I was led to my table in Bar Lune which was spacious and right by the bay windows. I indulged in seven courses of beautiful food as I relished in feelings of gratitude for friends and family, and the difficult but amazing Ph.D. journey I’ve had so far.

Don't shrink. Don't puff up. Stand on your sacred ground.Brene Brown

Cultivating authenticity: letting go of what people think. *This is part of a blog series from my reflections during Mental Health Awareness Month and integrating the guideposts from Brene Brown’s book, the Gifts of Imperfections in my HDR experience.


Tagged in What messes with your head, mental health month, mental health, phd