Today I woke up in the ‘right’ side of the bed. Despite my ongoing headache, I felt a warmth, urging me ensure this day was well lived. Most days, I’d say, are general idle. I believe this is the case for most people, whether or not we are willing to admit it. We go through our lives, day in and day out, talking to the same people, doing the same things (some more than others) and following the same prescribed norms. Wake up, eat, go the work or class, eat, socialize or enjoy some alone time, use the washroom when needed, eat and sleep; or, something along these lines.
I am by no means suggesting that I am in anyway an exception to this. In fact, to the observer, I am without doubt the ‘rule’. I wake up the same time every morning, to enjoy my morning ritual of yoga, running and breakfast, leave my house and head out to whether meetings, classes or whatnot I have planned for the day, only to return home somewhere between 3PM and 4PM, where I begin my dinner and relax until I retire into my room to read or study before falling asleep.
However upon closer inspection, it would become clear that each day I try to do one small thing I have never done. Most days these are just small feats: walking down a hall I never knew of at my school, only to see where it takes me; sitting in a new chair in class, only to get a new ‘look’ of the room… you know, nothing extremely big. Unfortunately, there are only so many ways to view a classroom and I am running out of hallways.
I have always been plagued by anxiety and order. Everything needs to be a certain way, or I will feel like things are completely out of my control. Three weeks ago, I started to make small steps to stop this. Pushing myself to go outside of my ‘norm’, just to see what it feels like. Honestly, it is terrifying for me, but at the same time, it’s exciting. Afterward, I feel oddly at ease; as if I finally behaved ‘normally’ – something which I always strive to be, since I began my recovery from my eating disorder.
My goals are to let go, to put it directly. Every so many days, I feel a sensation in the pit of my stomach. It is unusual, but I love it: it’s calm. I do not use the word to describe this feeling, but to rather name it. What I am feeling is ‘calm’ itself. My hope is that by adhering to this ‘letting go’ I will achieve ‘calm’ more frequently.
To make this somewhat more easier, I have spent the past few weeks documenting mentally that which has brought to this ‘calm’. The moments include, but are not limited to: when I don’t run fast, but slowly, when I do yoga or QiGong, when I make a stranger smile, when I think about that which connects me to everything (my family, my beliefs, my goals)… the list goes on.
The most notable of the above would be the one which deals with strangers. As part of my switch to a more calm existence, I have started to actively open up to the world around me, even more than I already have. In doing that, I have heard beautiful stories of medical miracles, love and hopes and much more.
Today, I had the pleasure to meet another beautiful voice. After having watched my neighboring bus rider pen away in her journal, documenting what I can only imagine was her inner-most thoughts pertaining to her day, I felt compelled to say something. Anything. Finally, after much consideration of possible ‘ice breakers’, I said:
‘I like your notebook; it’s pretty.’
She informed me that it was from the dollar store. To be completely truthful, there was nothing particularly striking about the notebook, it had been the only thing I could think of to comment on.
Before either her or I knew it, we were in an honest discussion about our love for writing, our past heartbreaks and our fears. We discussed how writing has gotten us through many things and how it, above all other forms of art, speaks to us. Whether it be fictional, poetry, or a diary entry. Though short-lived, the exchange was sweet. It was ‘calm’.
By the end, I turned into a motivator – quite by mistake. After hearing her discuss her love for the written word, I inquired if she had ever considered becoming published. Her immediate ‘no’ caused me to believe that the actual answer was, ‘yes, but I am scared’. She did not force me to urge the truth out of her, however. Immediately following the abrupt ‘no’, followed a smooth, ‘yes, but… I don’t know. There is enough books! Who needs another one?’
So, I said the only thing I could:
‘You know, I think someone will benefit from your writing. Keep thinking about it, okay? There is always one person who will take something from a piece of work.”
By this point, her stop had arrived and she had to leave, but my statement echoed in my mind. One should never refrain from doing something as risk of no one benefiting, because the only one who must benefit is you and you, alone. Should another individual take something from it, that would be an addition to the wealth.
Write for you; write for who you are.