I am a firm believer that high levels of productivity as well as pleasure make for a good life. “Work hard, play hard,” as they say. You could also say that splitting my time between the library and the pub is that maxim in action.
After surviving the first week of classes, I headed out to the library in a true London rain. I grabbed a coffee and got down to business.
It was only after I had crossed everything off my list that I wandered around a bit. Seeing a few familiar literary and cinematic faces, I determined, among other things, that I had picked a good library to call my home.
Then, I met up with Hope to go to The Clerk and Well. It’s a pub in (you guessed it) Clerkenwell. The neighborhood’s name comes from the Clerks’ Well where English clergymen used to perform religious plays in medieval times.
Ah, yes, that good OG religious history. Perks of going to Catholic school: I already knew that a “mystery play” was a biblical re-enactment.
An aspect of The Clerk and Well that distinguishes it from your average fish + chips and slider joint is the menu. So instead of crispy tender cod or a sandwich, go expecting dumplings and tempura and tataki and kalbi ribs and pad thai on the menu.
Hope and I both ended up getting sushi, and it was some sushi hard-worn. We had the darnedest time understanding (either because of cultural barriers or the sheer noise of the pub or our newness to bar-going) the concept of opening a tab for food. But nevertheless, we had a delicious dinner of sushi, fries with Sriracha chili mayo, wonton chips and people-watching.
Phenomenons we observed: how well-dressed everyone this side of London seems to be. Naturally. We also noticed the lack of food Londoners ingest with their alcohol. Concerning. And of course, how California-redwood tall everyone seems to be.
We ended our outing with a night stroll and some of this creamy deliciousness. I don’t know if it was because I was really feeling it or because I haven’t had it in ages. But either way, I savored every last teensy-weensy spoonful of my coconut and tiramisu gelato.
The longer I live on this earth as an adult, the more I’ve realized that it really is O.K. to treat yo’ self. At the start of my adulthood and in my late teens, I had no concept of treating myself well or self-care.
I don’t say this to make light of self-care or use the term too loosely. I mean the opposite, in that my mentality has always been work, work, work! Until your head throbs incessantly and you accumulate Prada eyebags and you’re held together with three cups of coffee and fruit cups and safety pins and memes.
I’ve worked so hard in high school and undergrad. It’s only as of recent that I’ve finally allowed myself to take a breath. To take some time to truly enjoy life.
Apart from expanding my horizons and opening my heart to new cultures, I am looking forward to more days like this. Days where I can take my time and do things for myself and not feel guilty about “slacking off.”
As a Libra, I live for balance. So every day I can find one between work and play is a day well-spent.