an unplanned weekend

I have absolutely no plans this weekend.

I was supposed to go to DC and visit my friend Gaby but, through a series of so-unfortunate-they're-almost laughable events (a story for another time), I had to reschedule for mid-September. 

And so — my weekend is completely free. 

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It is both liberating and strange; over the past few months, I have tried to have at least a few things to do each weekend. The spring was largely about distraction, and keeping myself busy; the summer was circumstantially busy, spending time with friends and loved ones. This is the first time, in a long time, that I have no plans Friday through Saturday. 

Last weekend, my Saturday was, partially, spontaneous: I bought paint supplies with a friend in the morning, and helped him carry a massive canvas home. After that, I had planned on heading home and playing with my own new paints when one of my best friends texted me. We grabbed lunch at a ramen spot in the village, caught up, and got some iced coffee to finish off the afternoon. 

After I said goodbye to her I walked home, and for the first time in a long time, looked up at the buildings around me, the ones I walk by everyday. I felt present. Getting lunch with Hannah was delightful; it was the perfect reminder that the best plans are sometimes the ones that weren't planned to begin with. 

A similar sentiment found its way into my mind on Monday. At a team offsite, a woman working at The Wing told us (when we apologized for making things complicated) that it was all ok: we showed up. All we needed to do was be present. 

Over the past five months, I've spent so long keeping myself distracted, always saying I was busy when people asked how I was and avoiding the thoughts I didn't want to think (but would think anyway), that I've forgotten what it's like to take things moment by moment. There is a beauty in that, in being present, in letting myself think and feel and just live. Even if living, for that day, means reading all day in the park. Or watching Harry Potter. Or going out with friends. Or painting a painting that turns out terrible.

For the first time in a long time, I'm not scrambling to make some kind of plan. I'm looking forward to waking up and seeing what happens. Maybe this weekend will be full of spontaneous occasions. And maybe it won't. And either way, that's ok.

 

Amber Hunter