I am only allowed to leave my underwear on; no shirt, no socks. It makes sense, because after the doctor asks me to stand still, she points her gun-like mole detector on all the moles that are spread across my body. On the huge iMac, I see the pictures she takes: Red and brown and skin-colored spots, really close; they look more like bruises or the watery ink blots I make when mixing ink. She says it’s all good, but takes some pictures to monitor the mole’s alterations.
So, as a mole-covered person, I went to get a skin cancer screening (apologies for using the word mole for the fifth time now; I really don’t like it either). Which is somehow ironic, because in July I learned that I might not actually be the mole I always thought I was; hidden inside, behind his desk, wearing his huge glasses, avoiding sunlight. I’d like to inform you that I discovered FUN activities for me.
For a very long time in my life, I thought I’d needed to stay away from all things fun—I avoided holidays (too expensive, too time-consuming, I could be working during those two weeks!), I almost never went out for drinks (I don’t really drink, so what’s the point anyway?!), I skipped parties and festivals (too many people). Last weekend though, I went to the Pride parade here in Berlin, and I figured out that I am not scared of big crowds anymore, and that’s really good. It was actually really fun! And I also went out for drinks, during a really nice summer night, and that was enjoyable, too. How did I not know that having fun can be so effortless? Being able to refrain from judging oneself, and letting go of that workaholic’s remorse regarding leisure time—it’s really quite something. 10/10, can recommend.
Which reminds me of a comment I got from my friend Sonja, regarding my last newsletter’s headline (062019: Take Yourself With You). She pointed out that a good way to make uneasy situations more enjoyable is the thought that you always take yourself with you. And if you are cool with who you are, the uneasy situation might actually become manageable, if not even enjoyable—you’ve always got yourself! I liked that thought, and it made it even more appealing to love myself a bit more.
That’s why I also spent some me-time during July: I read Sally Rooney’s Normal People (as everyone did, apparently, and besides the book, I also enjoyed being part of the hype). I wrote a poem about a deer. I drew a vampire, and I wrote about awkward handshakes. Funnily, I got a lot of feedback on the handshake story from people who I’ve had a lot of awkward-handshake-situations with. Well, we’re all just trapped in our heads I guess.
Anyway: Now that I know that fun is an easily-accessible commodity that I could treat myself with every once in a while, and also now that I know that all my moles (SORRY) are innocuous, I invite you to enjoy this summer to its fullest. It’s August already!