Day Dates

 With me being one heartbreak closer to understanding Taylor Swift's breakup songs on a more spiritual level I find my high school 'nickname' a little truer. I was the go to for relationship advice for god knows what reason for a handful of my friends. A few of them even told me I was the Taylor Swift of relationship advice. But even better, I was the girl who had the life advice too. I was the girl who had the advice on what to do while single, while trying to find yourself, while trying to take care of yourself and much more.

 There was one thing I was telling my friend who is trying to figure herself out but also figure out her dating life at the same time. I told her to take herself on Day Dates. I have taken myself on many Day Dates where I go see a movie by myself or go to a coffee shop alone. It's essentially taking yourself on a date and treating yourself well. I told her that it helped me when I did it back in fall on finding myself. It's important you find yourself before dating because if you don't understand and love yourself, how will your partner? How will you know what you want?

 I told my friend to meet me in Clifton and we'd go get lunch, chit chat about life, and then head on a little adventure. We did a Day Date together so I could teach her my little tricks to getting through the stage of finding yourself, something I'm doing again before my next relationship. I told her that I was reinventing myself so I'm better for myself and future partner, whoever that may be. She asked me that even after I reinvented myself, would I go back to my ex? I told her no. Not right now at least, because I have no trust for him after how he handled the situation at hand and I know neither of us are where we want to be right now. Later on? Months from now like in summer? Yes, I would be willing to try again. She asked me how I was reinventing myself and how I was going to move forward with finding myself. I told her a handful of things that I figured would help her and told her things that helped me.

 Make lists. Make so many lists you fill up a whole notebook. List things you like, what you really like. List things you hate. Lists of places you want to go. Lists of things you need to do, then cross them off once you get them done. Lists of songs you hear on the radio to listen to later. Lists of books you want to read this year or month. Lists of movies to watch on rainy days. Lists of things that make you happy. Lists of things that make you sad. Lists and lists and lists. Make lists, start a journal, write to someone but don't send the letters, buy a black notebook and write things to give you closure.

I noticed that some things I thought I liked or enjoyed actually just annoyed me, they were things I pretended to like for the sake of others. I took myself on dates around Clifton and downtown doing things I loved. I splurged on myself and went out but spent nothing. I spent an hour in a book store but spent nothing for once, just writing the names and authors of books I wanted. I went to a park and looked out at the city all day, just reading a book from my library and stealing peaks of the city. I spent a rainy day inside painting, listening to my records spin, letting the pitter patter of the rain fill the background, and lit some incense. I planned a bunch of meals and went grocery shopping, I cooked breakfast, lunch, and dinner then ate at my table with my cat laying in a chair. I talked to myself a lot, telling myself that I was productive when the negative thought of laziness came in. I complimented myself, saying I looked pretty without makeup on after a day of feeling bad about my body. I cut my hair again, not the large jump from mid stomach to chin but I cut from collarbones to my ears. I painted my nails a different color every couple days, I always feel pretty with nice nails. I bought seeds and started making planters, from left over cartons and cans and jars.

 On this particular Day Date we went to Panera and had lunch outside in the warm spring sun. We got the broccoli cheddar soup and I added in a green tea for mine because who doesn't like tea? We started chatting about our summer plans, about life, about dating, about how many photos we were going to take this year, about places to go, about people to see. We spend our time at Panera taking a break from our everyday lives and letting things just happen. In fact, we even had an old friend we both hadn't spoken to in a long time see us across the street and come over. Last spring us three and some other friends were heading to Caeser's Creek to spend the warm days there on the beach, then he left to serve our country and is back in town for a while. I'll never forget he let me drive his old 90's Jeep and taught me how to drive stick. We said our goodbyes and he headed back to the tattoo parlor as we finished lunch then headed to the park.

 There's this park in Clifton that has the most amazing view of Cincinnati, you can go any time of day and the view is just impeccable. I've gone at night, I've gone at sunset, I've gone during storms, I've gone at sunrise. It is the best place to see Cincinnati and there Ohio ends and Kentucky begins. I remember one time I was there with this guy and watched the sunset come in and storm clouds roll in from the right of us. Another time a couples of my old and new friends and I went there and got right to the edge of the cliff and they drank some beers while we all talked and got to know each other a bit better. Once more with a guy who I really cared about in the cold night I dragged him by his hand up to the view and had him look out at all the city lights. That view is the best thing I have compared to the ocean, and so I took my friend there and showed it to her too. I just stood there and looked out over the city as I took a deep breath and let go of my daily worries.

 After we spent some time at the park looking down at the city I decided we should actually head down there. Let's just go downtown for a bit and go to the park. It was the first real day of spring with warm weather and no rain, so I said let's just do it. Part of having a Day Date is letting the day take over. Let the day guide to on where to go and what to do. We were hungry so we walked to Panera to get food. We saw an old friend and said hellos. We were heading back to my apartment and decided to go to the park to look at the view first. We saw the big yellow bridge and decided to head to Sawyer Point Park. We headed down there and sat on the bandstand. We looked down past us and decided to walk to the end of the park. We headed up into the city to find Orange Leaf only to realize it was no longer there. We decided to check out other places to eat as we walked on the upper level of the city and the parks there. We spent the most of the day just letting our Day Date take us to wherever our eyes landed upon.

 Once we headed back to my apartment the day was almost over and it was time for her to head back home. I gave her a few more tips and inspiration advice I had come upon that had helped me before she left. Once the day was over I cooked myself dinner and went to bed early since I had work the next day. Though after work the next day she came down again and we had dinner at Sawyer Point Park and watched the sun fall behind the city. When I took my shift it was supposed to be 70 and rainy all day. What ended up happening was that it was 76 and sunny all day. So I messaged her and said we should go on another Day Date and not waste the beautiful weather.

 Day Dates are not something I invented but I did make up the name of it to fit with my timing. I took the day for myself and then once the sun set I went back home and finished any work I needed to have done. I was productive with work but also with my self care that day so it all balanced out if the day time ended up being something lazy like having a movie day where I watched a movie series. More people should go on Day Dates with themselves or with friends. Why? Well because everyone should learn to be alone and happy. Love yourself, be alone, take time for yourself, just learn to be happy with yourself.

 Plan a Day Date for yourself soon. You don't need to spend money to do it if you're on a budget. Just check the weather for the week, your work schedule, and find a free day to spend with yourself. Walk to your local park and take a snack with you as well as a good book. Stay off your phone for a few hours, hence why I brought my camera to take photos. I usually keep my phone on me during my day dates incase someone needs to truly reach me but other than that, it's pretty much just a paperweight. But seriously, go take yourself on a Day Date.

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