Self-Care Sunday: Seeking Beauty Part 2



Last month after finally going on vacation after a year of changes (moving, starting a new job etc), I expressed my realization that I needed to be more intentional about seeking beauty regularly in order to avoid going stir crazy in the city when I wasn't able to travel or get away. I promised myself two things: 1. to get out of the city once every couple of weeks and 2. to explore parts of the city that I hadn't been to.

Last night was the latter part of that promise: enter Philly's China Town. Normally I would begrudgingly even want to go out in the pouring rain to do much of anything between the crazed drivers, and the unpleasant idea of possibly getting drenched  to my core wasn't my idea of fun. But on this particular night we were hanging out with friends who were even more laid back and easy going than we were; a rare thing for a Southern California girl trying to adjust to the cultural shock of the Northeast (and ironically enough our friends are seriously considering moving out there). In addition, we had to blow them off a couple months ago when I was feeling ill, so I knew come rain (literally) or high water, we would be hanging out--there was no way I was going to sacrifice a double date night out for anything.

The evening started out at our friends' house, eating homemade portobello vegan fajitas and drinking our homemade pineapple-infused vodka (come on, I am a foodie, you know that was a great start to the evening already). Next we spent a couple hours catching up on our lives at Pitcher's Pub in Manayunk for their daily happy hour (yes on a Saturday, half off every beer including local brews).

Third we went to Penang, a Malaysian restaurant, in China Town. We parked and walked two blocks in the pouring rain huddled under umbrellas winding through China town. The best part was not making reservations, not having to wait for a table, and getting our food within half an hour of arriving. In addition I tried a lychee drink for the first time, a curry dish, and a stir fry dish. I was in foodie heaven with trying a new place, new dishes, and having amazing company. Long story short, it was the picture perfect double date/night out on the town, all in the same town I lived in. I saw the rain as an adventure and the city as an adult playground.

I say all of that to ask: what do you find beautiful? Beauty varies from person to person. I had "all the feels" from our night out. It was a combination of everything I loved: great company, great food, and trying something completely new and different with the added benefit of not having to leave the city to do so. For me life is about experiencing the unknown with the people you know and love and rediscovering the places you do know in great company. While I may not always experience it on a macro level by going abroad or taking a trip out of the city, I can experience it on a micro level on a weekly or even a daily basis. Last week I entertained two friends I hadn't seen in months, as home with vegan cooking and spending the day next to the Schuylkill River selling soap; this week it was finally making cauliflower crust and our night out last night.

It doesn't matter what passion or hobby you choose, or even how frequently you do it; what matters is doing the things you love with the people you love; what matters is finding the beauty in your life where it is right now, not obsessing on the things you don't have and the places you haven't been. Especially when your life/job/commitments are stressful, it's good to unwind, even if it is for only a couple of hours in your day or a few hours in your week. The past seven days I have been way more relaxed and at ease, and I have even been working less on my hours away from work.  If you don't know the answer to the question "What brings you beauty?" I encourage you to find out; or maybe you have forgotten or even neglected those things. I believe we have passions to remind us what it feels like not only to be alive, but also actually live. This is the epitome of self-care.

The Body Buffet creates handmade artisan soap, shampoo, conditioners, spa bars, beard care, body wash and more for Baltimore, the DMV, and beyond. We have been creating conditioning skin-loving, hair-loving, since 2009. Visit our shop at Marquita Johl is the soaper-in-chief and a self-care advocate. She has been crafting soap for eleven years.

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