This is me, as of late. This is me; this current era of Me. Short bleached hair, smiley, glowing, passionate. I learned how to poach egg whites and steam green beans for my meals. I’ve started going to the gym every morning and jiu-jitsu every night. I haven’t uttered the words, “I’m the worst,” (even jokingly) in over a month. I don’t snap at my mom anymore for telling me to do my laundry. I listen to my music really loud in the car and catch myself looking at the mountain on the horizon far more often. I find myself humming everywhere I go.
My smile feels big again; my eyes are tired but in a good way.
I used to stay up at night, feeling less than satisfied with how my day went, disappointed, even. Whether I lost time or wasted it, either spending it not doing enough or doing the wrong things. Saying too much, not saying enough. Not crossing off enough of my to-do list, so I would try to squeeze some last minute tasks in between the hours of one and four in the morning.
Rather than sunken eyes from sleepless and restless nights, my eye-bags have found themselves carrying precious cargo instead. From midnight confessions shared with friends on a driveway; to finding the right words to write a song that finally says just enough; to lying on a play structure until 3 A.M. after running from golf course security just to watch a meteor shower. My eyes don’t sag from not living enough, they sag from living, period.
I take my time, more than I ever have before. I used to move 100mph, 24 hours a day, the landscape flying by in a blurry, muddled, indistinguishable mess. As of late, I’ve started to take my time. I sit down for my piece of toast with almond butter and honey in the morning. I sit outside for my cup of tea and book. I sit to take the time to write. I sit to listen to or play music. I sit and savor.
When I have spare moments, which I have a lot of these days, I let them seep into my pores and feel them in the soles of my feet and on the tips of my fingers. Even while running errands, I cling onto those moments where I am acutely conscious of my body’s place on Earth. Walking through the grocery store parking lot and feeling the sunlight wash over my face after 10 minutes spent in the frozen food section feels like waking up all over again. Noticing the sweat running down the front of my neck and dripping onto the floor at the gym is a physical manifestation of the hard work I’m putting in. Even in the summer, the smell of warm clothes fresh out of the dryer while doing laundry still makes me feel more at home than anything else.
I haven’t slowed down completely, I just maximize my time, in a sensory-sort-of-way, soaking in every second as thoroughly as possible. I’ve stopped fixating on the time I’ve spent doing things, but rather started appreciating the things I have spent my time doing.
Conclusions I have come to recently:
- Endorphins can get you through anything.
- Romanticizing people is dangerous.
- The words you say hold an immense amount of power.
- Investing yourself in the person in front of you, rather than living in your head, make everyday interactions 34x more meaningful.
- It may be selfish to do something for yourself, but if you believe it is healthy for you, then maybe you can let yourself be selfish for a bit.
- Giving is important. However, do not neglect yourself in the process. Do not throw away pieces of who you are for others; find the balance between the two. If you happen to start losing yourself in the process of giving, reevaluate. Relationships should be mutualistic, not symbiotic.
- Internalizing positivity is one thing, sharing that positivity is another.
- (This was especially hard to accept.) People change, and things do not last forever. (I’ll keep it vague to write about one day.)
Fascinating, loving, beautiful people surround me. I listen to great bands, keep my window open at night, and I take care of my skin. The relationship between me and everything else- the air, cars around me, the vibrations in music, the strangers I make eye contact with- is gaining clarity in my eyes every day. I am back to perceiving everything through those rose-tinted glasses that I lost for a while. The ones that make the sky look bluer, ice cream taste sweeter, existing feel more worthwhile.
This attitude, laden in hypotheticals and abstractions and phrases you can probably pluck right out of a yoga and mindful living magazine, is what makes me feel the most complete. I could gush for years, tossing around countless metaphors about the relationship between light and darkness, love and hate, negative and positive poles. However, I won’t.
I’ll only say that if I could cling onto anything until the inevitable end, it would be this undeniable gratitude for everything, this ability to tightrope-walk along the silver lining. This power to love. This ability to live and find extraordinary joy within the intricacies of life. I am proud of it, and I have every right to be. I am proud of myself and where I stand today.
This is me. This is me, 17 Years, 7 Months, 21 Days into my life. I am longwinded, hyperbolic, ditzy, and a bit frantic at times. I love to dance on tables and run through sprinklers and walk around the neighborhood barefoot. I am ever-changing, growing, unlimited, thriving, and deserving.
I am my own kind of wonderful. You are too.