I glide my spoon over the pale pink strawberry ice-cream.
It’s smooth and not-too-sweet and delicately indulgent. It tastes like summer.
I’m drinking fresh mint tea, in a shade of pale green. Tonight, I am dining in perfect pastels, wearing my black dress, my gold hoops gleaming in the soft lighting. I am alone, sitting in a chic, minimalist restaurant. It’s late August and raining – no, pouring – outside.
And tonight, I have run away.
Not to be dramatic. I’m an adult, after all.
But, this was a last minute, spur-of-the-moment, “I need space”, jump in the get-away car and drive kind of evening. Family is visiting, and, for all of the love, joy, and late nights and early mornings spent in conversations and bustle and people, I have needed an escape. (I’m an introvert, can you tell?)
So I ran away.
No one knows where I am. Or when I’ll be back (it’s early evening still – no one will worry). I am living in delicious, strawberry-flavoured, artificially lit, sound-of-the-rain pouring freedom. I can breathe, slow down and remember who I am, among the chaos my life has temporarily become.
The laughter and chatter surrounding me is comforting; I don’t have to be a part of it; I just sit with it, in my own world, connected and separate at the same time.
Rule number one of stolen moments: never make anyone worry. Rule number two: there are no other rules. Go and do and live as your heart desires. Just step away from it all.
Weaving Stolen Moments into Everyday Life
Sometimes, before work, I steal myself away for a coffee or a fresh juice. I sit there, drinking in the energy; it’s a world away from the environment I’ll be stepping into as soon as the clock hits nine, and it saves me. I breathe in the coffee, the sound of the keyboard of the man working next to me, of the laughter and whir of the blenders. I watch the people walking past, and notice the green of the trees outside. I become it. And then, I am ready.
Sometimes, when I’m coming home from work, I take the scenic route. The long route. The beautifully unnecessary, time consuming, soul-quenching route. I detour to the sea or a park (because I am lucky to have these). I put my music on, and sit at a bench, looking out or writing or dreaming. I’m late home, and I don’t care. This is just for me.
I book three days in Paris. A night in London to go to a concert. I dress up, and walk through the world, doing everything as I please, being who I please. As the train speeds up, I leave everything mundane behind. I will be back, but for now, I am stepping into my soul.
I go to the florist and select flowers, breathing in the soft, green scent and choosing those that light up my soul the most. The bouquet, in my room, gives me more stolen time every time I see it.
Take it, now. A coffee, a dinner out, a day trip, a weekend excursion or a week long break somewhere, anywhere, just for you. Seek out experiences that are special. Just for you.
Why Are Stolen Moments Powerful?
Stolen moments mean freedom.
Freedom from routine. Freedom from yourself.
It’s the feeling of walking away from the office, when you’re supposed to be walking towards it. That feeling – but with your whole life.
When we step into our secret moments, we’re stepping away from the physical and social boundaries that placed around us. In these carved out spaces, we learn to go within, and ask ourselves what we want. Whether that’s an hour alone with a cappuccino and a good book – or a life makeover. Who do you want to be, in this moment? The answer can be life changing. The answer can be nothing.
Maybe you need to stir up the depths of your soul. Or maybe, you just need simple, earthly, under-appreciated pleasure.
Dress up, be anyone you want to be. Be that woman that you’re scared to step out as, but the idea of becoming thrills your soul. Do absolutely nothing, and do absolutely anything, everything you want. Savour this feeling, and take it with you when you go back to your daily life.
Break your own habits, expand the possibilities of your life. Ennui can take you places, if you play it right, and solitude is a delicious luxury. Escape is self exploration.
Become what the space allows you to be.
When I arrive home, I feel grounded. I am ready to be who I need to be. I open the door and step back into the familiar chaos, happily. The fragrance of strawberries lingers in the air.