HOW I SUNDAY
by Irene Kim
Sundays have never been my favorite day of the week, and, to be honest, I’m still not sure they are; but, over the past few years I’ve learned to be okay with that. Slowly but surely, it became easier to love Sundays, and every other day of the week, once I stopped trying to make them so perfect (or maybe it was when I stopped trying so hard to make myself perfect). But by no means am I a quintessential success story; I’m still a work in progress, and so are my Sundays.
Growing up, I’ve always associated Sundays with exhausting hours of church service and a laundry list of work I’d saved up to torture myself with. This was the routine way I began every week, which I’m sure you can sense, was a great kick-start to a series of other unfortunate events called Monday-Friday. Once I began college, I figured it was time to start “adult-ing,” and at the time this meant a number of different things: weekly bottomless brunches, shopping for groceries I never actually ate, and hours of curating my planner with a to-do list I had no intentions of ever following. This made Sundays an opportunity for me to ignore the tornado that was my “real life” every other day of the week. I was failing all of my classes and struggling with depression, insomnia and an eating disorder, so I guess it’s safe to say things weren’t looking too hot for me.
As things continued to spiral out of control, I knew I couldn’t hide away behind my “perfect” Sundays any longer, and decided to take a semester off of school during my sophomore year. To be honest, I’m still not sure whether it was the therapy, traveling, alone time or the combination of all three that scooped me out of the dark hole I was in, but sometime during my semester off something magical happened - I realized how tiring it was to play “Barbie” and fake a happiness that wasn’t real. As I began to actually allow myself to be raw and vulnerable, it just became a lot easier to breathe. It’s funny because, at the time, I was so used to trying to please others that I wasn’t even sure what made me genuinely happy. Figuring that out was definitely Step One in learning how to get up each morning and having something to look forward to. It took me forever to realize the painfully obvious fact that understanding yourself is crucial in navigating how you want your day to go.
Over the years, I’ve realized that no two days are the exact same for me, so keeping to any sort of regimen is nearly impossible. If I am being completely honest, I don’t have a set-in-stone Sunday ritual like most people might. On some days I wake up with a fiery rigor, where the “Boss Lady” in me decides it’s a day to go for a run, crank through some work and do a little sweep through my apartment, but I’m a little relieved to say this isn’t my everyday, nor my every Sunday routine, otherwise I probably wouldn’t have made it through a single Sunday morning hangover. I’m okay with not being a pilates junkie or a habitual smoothie drinker because on some days I know that my body just needs the support of my bed, some greasy takeout, and a couple episodes of Criminal Minds.
By now you may be wondering “How I Sunday” if I don’t have a clear-cut ritual and this would be my answer: I routinely give myself reasons to laugh and love myself a little more than I did the day before (and as cliche as that may sound, it’s the simplest way to respond to this question). Regardless of how differently I might attack this from week to week, I know what makes me float, even when it feels like breathing is a little hard. Essentially, my Sundays are a compilation of the things that make me happy. So here’s a list of random things, in no particular order, that just make me feel good:
Jamming out to late 90s and early 2000s hip-hop and R&B
Rediscovering old clothes in my closet I thought I hated (only to discover I actually like them now)
Sifting through old photos from when my eyebrows never looked quite right
Staying bra-less all day
Binge watching Friends, Criminal Minds or the entire Bring It On series
Snacking on Flaming Hot Cheetos (Pro Tip: Eat them with chopsticks to avoid getting radioactive red cheeto dust on your fingertips, nails and knuckles. FYI, hot cheeto nails are NOT cute.)
Staying in the shower for an extra 20 minutes, just because thinking is always easier in there
Finishing a page in a coloring book (Yes, adult coloring books do exist and they’re amazingly therapeutic)
Finding an inspirational quote or poem that hits home, regardless of how cliche it is
Wandering around in Sephora for a full hour or two, and walking out with both hands covered in eyeshadow and lipstick swatches
Calling my mom
Sitting under the Pepsi Cola sign at Gantry Park to appreciate the Manhattan skyline, while listening to anything by Jeff Bernat
Baking my mega famous chocolate chip banana muffins