1. One meticulously selected playlist.
Perhaps a pinch of Billie Holiday with a recommended serving size of “I’m a Fool to Want You” and “Easy Living.” Always serve with a side of Chopin nocturnes for the perfect atmosphere.
2. A grocery bag full of fresh ingredients.
Serve with the understanding that you can try making any dish you want — even that hard one you usually mess up — and no one will ever have to know or care. It’s all for you.
3. A smidgeon of journaling.
Record your thoughts, your drawings, and your mood. Record them for yourself and no one else. Writing in a journal versus on your blog or as a Facebook or Twitter update will not only allow you to go deeper and write more, it will permit you to be entirely truthful and open about your thoughts.
4. A kitchen full of your favorite drinks.
Equal respect to feeling like a green tea to a California Pinot Noir. Even one of those fancy lemonades can take a night from good to great (lame, but true).
5. A healthy dollop of not caring what everyone else is up to.
Recommended serving technique: Your phone turned off, placed quietly on your nightstand. Memorialize your delicious dinner with those remarkable eyes and that impeccable memory rather than through Instagram and an iPhone camera.
6. A bouquet of fresh flowers.
Yes, you should stop and smell the roses.
7. A dash of literature.
Dive into some of those books you keep meaning to read. Recommended serving: Kundera’s The Unbearable Lightness of Being or McEwan’s Atonement. Or hop into the literary time machine and read the books you loved when you were younger. Perhaps The Golden Compass, A Wrinkle in Time, or the beautifully bizarre A Series of Unfortunate Events?
8. Some ballin’ stemware.
Drop it low with fancy-pants wine glasses.
9. A heaping sense of confidence and security about being alone.
One of the things we learn as we grow up is the importance of learning to like ourselves and to enjoy own company. It’s great to be a social person and to rely on people for certain things; but, at the end of the day, if you’re happy with yourself then you can enjoy most every situation. If you detest being alone, it could mean you’re just not all that comfortable with yourself (that, or you’re a super extrovert, which is cool too).
10. One chocolate-based dessert.
Naturally, this can just be a delicious hunk of chocolate. In fact, maybe it should be required that it’s just a delicious hunk of chocolate.
11. Mix it all in with self-reflection
Realize that whether you’re staring out your window in suburban Minnesota seeing nothing but white picket fences or you’re peering out from an 18th-century apartment building in Paris watching the lights of the Eiffel Tower play off of the sky, you can choose to live wherever you like, do whatever you like, and be whomever you like. Have a lovely night in.