i am a crab: on self care



i turn off my fan. i take my clothes off. i turn the bathwater on (i don’t turn my iphone off)*, let the tub start to fill. i unscrew the cap of my ‘dr. teal’s detoxify & energize’ bubbles in ginger and clay, methodically pouring a modest portion into the rising basin of water.

i bring my incense into the bathroom and light the tip. i blow the flame out and let the smoke fill the small room. i turn the ‘big light’ off and turn my nightlight on.

i slowly, painfully sink into the scalding, burning, bubbly water. i feel like a lobster or maybe a crab. i am a crab. my sun sign is cancer. cancer is a water sign. learning that simple truth made me feel less crazy for regularly falling asleep in the shower in high school. less indulgent for taking baths every other week. i’m not indulging, i’m just finding my equilibrium. or something like that.

but still, i vacillate between feeling pampered and feeling guilty. i am very lucky to have this time to relax and restore my body. i let my skin turn pink and think about my privilege. i think about how i can turn that privilege into opportunity for others.

i think that’s the point of self-care. not to lounge in luxury, but to give your body what it needs in order to do the best work you can. 

dr. teal tells me i’m detoxifying and energizing, and that might be consumerist bullshit. but i choose to take those marketing words and turn them into something tangible. i sit in my bathtub, six stories up, in a building that used to be a parking garage, beneath pipes that occasionally leak on me and within walls that certainly are incrementally poisoning me with their mold. (i try not to think about that.)

i am making my body and my brain better places to inhabit. i'm not very good at math anymore, but i think by the transitive property that means i am making the world a better place to inhabit?

in my last bath, i talked to close friends. snapchatted some pals. ate a sandwich. agreed to canvass for a local election. reacquainted myself with myself. i wrote some of this piece. i looked @ some twitter worth reading. i mentally planned my tomorrow. i gave myself what i needed to do life incrementally better. it might not sound revolutionary, but it's important, dammit. 

*a nod to kanye