Jessica’s Day of Self-Care | 7 November 2019

I had dad drop me off at the train at the normal time and on the way to Philadelphia, I was amazed by the sunrise. The sky was a deep red and the beauty brought me to tears. It felt awesome to be alive, to view such intensity. I was too engrossed in it to take a photo, but since the window was farther away from me, I don’t think a picture would have done the sunrise any justice.

As soon as I blinked, the train arrived at Jefferson Station, my stop. As I was exiting the train, I ran into one of my other train friends who is a teacher for the city. He said, “you missed your spot!”

We were exiting the train and I said, “nah, today is my special day.” He smiled and said, “I know. I am praying for you and I hope that your special day is indeed very special. I will be thinking about you today.” I was surprised that he was thinking about me and that he was praying for my day. It made me verklempt.

As we were heading to the surface of the city, I told him I needed to charge my phone and he suggested Starbucks. We parted and I decided to get a selfie with the sunrise. Like I said, photos didn’t do the sunrise justice.


I sat in Starbucks for an hour and a half and I wrote a few pieces. It felt good to concentrate on writing. By 8:30, I figured it was time to head to Staples and go to Rittenhouse Square. I wanted to buy biodegradable paper for the special project I was doing for the day. As I was walking to Staples, Kathleen e-mailed me, told me she was thinking of me and that she hoped I enjoyed my special day. Again, that made me verklempt.

I bought the biodegradable paper at Staples, then walked to Barnes and Noblem, where I wrote two notes on the paper. The first note I wrote about what Brandon told me after he raped me. He told me, “I thought that you were beautiful, but in fact you are very ugly and it’s no wonder why you have no lover. You are lame, you are a horrible person, you are a horrible lover and no one loves you.” I remember this vividly and I remember I threw up after he said that to me, I threw up on his white couch and he scolded me like an animal before dragging me down the hall and shoving me into a sink.

On the other note, I wrote, “Six years ago today, he was wrong. I am beautiful. I am a wonderful friend, daughter, and young woman. I am loved. I am enough.”

When I was done, I walked across the street to Rittenhouse Square Park. I met one group of tourists and they took my photos near the bench and colourful tree. A few seconds passed and this young woman asked me to take her photo on the bench with the tree in the background. I took them at different angles and I asked her to get some photos of me holding the leaves, since I was going to play in them. We both loved the photos we took of one another. It was fun taking photos for the tourists, just like it was fun to sit outside, people watch, and enjoy the autumn colours.

I walked near the fountain and was dismayed to see the fountain was empty. I was going to rip up the note of what Brandon said to me and throw it into the water. Instead, I asked a young woman who was sitting there if she wouldn’t mind taking photos of me holding the letter, then tearing it apart. She took a few, then she took a photo of me holding the loving note. I stuffed the teared paper into my hand, took a photo of the ripped notes on a ledge. Once I got the photo, I stuffed it into my pocket, I would stop at Penn’s Landing later on and dispose of the note. I also took a seasonal photo of the loving note.

I looked down at my watch, 9:50 AM, it was time to walk to the bus stop to get to the Art Museum. As I arrived at the bus stop, it was 10 AM and no 38 bus was in sight. I decided to forgo the museum because last week the 38 never arrived and I had to walk 45 minutes to Center City at 8 PM. I didn’t want to chance that happening because I was going to eat at Red Hook Cafe on South Street before my tattoo appointment. I decided to catch a bus to Independence Hall. I could see those sites for free and enjoy the parks there.

And that’s what I did! I went to the Philosophical Society and enjoyed the exhibit there. I met two young women from Scotland and had fun chatting with them for 10 minutes. I didn’t ask for a selfie with them, but I wish I had. Then, I went to Independence Hall and enjoyed the park. I took some more photos for tourists, then they took photos of me. Again, it was nice enjoying the nice autumn weather.

I ate lunch at Red Hook Cafe, one of my favourite places. I had a GF tuna melt and it was huge. I ate 3/4 of it and unfortunately, I couldn’t wrap it to bring with me because of the appointment and once I got back to King of Prussia, I was going to the library. The GF tuna melt filled me and the atmosphere of Red Hook Cafe was relaxing.

After my appointment, I walked to Penn’s Landing and disposed of the note in the Delaware River. His words have no bearing on me anymore and he was very wrong. I am loved and 7 November 2019 was filled with so much love, as well as gratitude. It was one of the best days ever.


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Creator of the Happiness Box Project Initiative, a project where you write your happiness or gratitude each day, then open the box in the New Year. The Initiative is to teach joy and gratitude, to pass it on to others.

3 thoughts on “Jessica’s Day of Self-Care | 7 November 2019”

  1. Hi, Jessica Marie!

    When you achieve a breakthrough as you did on this grim anniversary, you emerge like a butterfly from a cocoon and all your senses come alive. I am very happy to know this was your experience on your day of self care. I am happy to know friends reached out and offered support. The words Brandon uttered that day IN THE PAST are inexcusable. You can only attempt to understand that for someone to say things like that to another, they must be hurting inside and feeling woefully inadequate, suffering from low self esteem. You have stripped his harsh words of their power and have chosen to listen to a more positive affirmation that comes from the voice within. It was a powerful exercise for you to write his words on a paper, ceremoniously rip it up as a stranger took pictures and dispose of it later on. That’s personal power in action! You were wise for taking advantage of free exhibits and parks, adding to your sense of control and progress, and I’m glad you had a nice GF lunch at Red Hook. I enjoyed seeing the fall leaves and the places you visited on that glorious day.

    Have a safe and happy week ahead, dear friend JM!


  2. Hi Tom,

    As I was planning my self-care day, I read an article on letting go and one of the blogs suggested this exercise. I thought it was perfect and it was. 🙂 I still have the note of my positive affirmation and I put it in my Happiness Box. Terry sent me a card of support last week and I said the same affirmation then too: I am loved. I am worthy. I am enough.

    I belong to the Art Museum, so that would have been a freebie too. However, I didn’t want to stress myself out by going there because the 38 is unreliable, so I took advantage of the other freebies. 🙂 My tattoo was the only expensive thing that day and I kept that in mind, with that in mind, that set the pace of the day. Honestly, being outside and enjoying the autumn scenery was well-needed. 🙂

    Thank you for all of your support over the years, dear friend.


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