It's a shame how indulgence often has a negative connotation attached to it; although I suppose it would have to do with what you're exactly indulging in. In the past, I always felt like I had to come up with a reason to support everything I did. Basically, I did it because I needed to take care of myself. And if I didn't do it, I might just go a little crazy.
It seems like hobbies or any form of bliss either get put on the backburner, or you feel the need to explain why you do it in order for it to be justified. And if you don't explain yourself, you get talked down to or get a label slapped on your back: you're lazy. You're self-centered and materialistic. You have your head up in the clouds.
But whatever happened to doing something simply because it made you happy? Because it made you smile from ear to ear? And if that's true, why does anyone else's opinion matter? I'm not not referring to dangerous or unhealthy things, like binge drinking or getting yourself into sketchy situations. I'm referring to activities that when you partake in them, you feel a sense of peace, as though all is well with the world.
Personally, my indulgences include the following:
Elements from my childhood-I've made no secret of the fact that I love and adore all things Disney. But lately, I've discovered that there are many things I used to surround myself with, that subconsciously I haven't given up. I still swing out on the swing set in my backyard. I still listen to 90's boy-bands and can remember most of the lyrics. I get a kick out of the quirkiness that is the Wisconsin Dells and a lot of the other theme parks that I've been to.
The bottom line is that I'm willing to embrace life with a sense of childlike wonder; something that unfortunately, people try to desperately rid themselves of as they leave childhood behind. I do get the occasional "but you're almost twenty-one, shouldn't you have given this up by now?" There are times where the boring, bland side of my brain tosses around that idea. But you know what? If it's becoming socially acceptable for kids to grow up way too fast, for whatever reason, adults should be allowed to embrace their inner child as well.
Shopping/Dressing up/Glamour-I'm all for being bare-faced and wearing sweatpants, but I equally love getting dressed up for a night out or a special occasion. I'm no expert, but it's interesting to experiment with make-up and seeing the different looks that I can create for myself. I try to stick to what enhances my natural features and not cover my face with gobs of product. Clothing is also a favorite, but it can be frustrating because I'm petite, along with the fact that I want to look modest without looking dowdy or plain.
And while there is the assumption that fashion and beauty products promote greed and vanity, I've learned how to separate myself from all of that. As long as one doesn't build their entire life around their appearance, or base their worth on what they look like, it shouldn't be that big of a deal.
Getting together with friends and family-If there is one thing that I have learned to cherish in the last twenty years, it's making the most of every moment that you have, with those that mean the absolute world to you. Last year I realized that it wasn't about how often you made certain memories, but who those memories included. Nothing brings me more joy than seeing my family during birthdays or important holidays, and it always turns into somewhat of a gut-busting comedy special (and I mean that in an extremely positive and humorous way). I appreciate the nights when my friends and I can get together in someone's apartment and either bond over cheap wine or a good movie (sometimes both). And it's always an extra blessing when we get to catch up on life and just be real with one another. It's a good reminder that we're not put on this earth to go through life alone.
This year I'll be living in a new apartment; one that is definitely a lot nicer, and is also closer to campus. My hope is that it will be a place where everyone can feel welcome and safe. A place where they can kick back and enjoy themselves. And above all, a place where people can leave with a smile on their face. Perhaps it might seem unrealistic, but I'm all too familiar with not having that kind of place to go to. And instead of always looking for a "happy place", maybe it's time I be that place for someone else.
So if someone asks me why I want to do something, from now on I'm only going to sum it up in three simple words: because I like it.