I felt good today. It wasn't an overcast sky like usual and was a sunny, but brisk 62 degrees. I dressed for the occasion. There's something about being back on the East Coast where I feel so great about wearing what I wish, with no judgment.
I proceeded to put on my favorite thrift store pants.
If anyone thrifts, you know how special it is to find bottoms that cater to your curves that aren't someone's donated Rue21 low-rise jeggings. When I found these, I fell in love. They're a pair of vintage olive-colored Ralph Lauren straight leg pants and I paid a mighty price of $3 for them which makes me love them even more. The button at the waist and create the illusion that I have hips. Priceless.
After that, I slipped on a classic black v-neck and tied it to make it cropped to show off the pants.
I slipped on some leather espadrilles and layered necklaces with a star and name-plate that said "Lucky."
I did feel "Lucky."
Lucky to be alive and to have a car to drive into town.
Lucky I had the freedom to feel safe by myself and lucky to afford the food I was about to eat.
The Station on King's, pictured above, is a casual dining place. Although the ten items on the menu are gorgeous and picture-worthy, people order and tip at the front counters, their food is quickly brought to them by someone. If anyone decides to eat alone, this is the perfect place to do so. There's a million things to look at and pictures and plants to provoke thought and inner peace. It's odd, but I found myself staring at a drawing of an artichoke. I eventually made it to the counter and ordered a kale salad and some water.
I sat down, looked around at everyone else in the seating area, and took some sips of my water. Food is fun when it is shared, but when I'm alone with no distractions, it is so much more enjoyable. I was able to reflect on how refreshing the water felt and how confident I must look to outsiders since I was the youngest person in the entire building. After a few moments alone, the salad arrived and I pulled out my phone to open my Kindle app and read.
The Station's kale salad is gorgeous. The kale is finely marinated, sliced into bite-size pieces and tossed with quinoa. It's topped with a lot of lemon zest and finely sliced radishes, and so much finely grated parmesan, one could hardly tell they were eating a salad. Each time I come here, the kale salad is a little bit different. This has been my favorite variation.
For what seemed like an hour, I sat reading, eating my salad. Each bite was incredible. The chef (we went to school together) came out and talked to me about the food. I saw some people I knew who I smiled and waved to. The whole place was filled with familiar faces actually. I felt safe.
When I finally finished the entire salad, I went back up to the counter and picked out a piece of raspberry-chocolate cake. They have not only beautiful food, but their pastries are gorgeous as well. I also ordered an almond milk latte.
At this point, I had been sitting here for over an hour, enjoying my food. It was only 12:00 after all and I had not a single place to be. It wasn't only liberating being alone, but knowing there were no time constraints on my day. Time didn't matter at that moment. Whatever I would choose to do afterward would be because I wanted to, not because I had a set to-do list to complete, like if I was at school.
This had been a tough semester and to have a moment back home eating fresh food in a safe place, in my favorite pants, feeling really great about myself, I was so thankful for.
Personally, I feel if anyone has the chance to eat alone, they should. Instead of waving away our thoughts and being on Instagram and Twitter for five hours plus, a day, just put away the distractions and enjoy yourself and the life you are living right in front of you... the food created with love at your fork and feel the gratitude for the life you are currently living.
"And suddenly you recall all the senseless time-wasting things you've done... the wasted minutes you'll never recover. And you realize that time is the most precious thing. Because time is life. It's the only thing you can never get back." – Jacqueline Susann in her novel, "Valley of the Dolls"