“Just breathe” are the words of a poem written by a colleague of mine, Niah Lynch, for a poetry slam competition this year. Niah, while trying to envision a response to the entirety of life, implores us to “just breathe”. In this edition of Don’t Forget To Be Awesome, we’ll discuss the stresses of youth life, losing your grip on it all, and just breathing in the process.
Realistically, breathing is not an end-all to your life’s stresses. But, as we’ve learned, our lives don’t exist in black or white strictures. So, let’s go deeper. Often, at the end of a day, you’re overwhelmed, socially exhausted, and beaten up. You have deadlines that seem impossible to meet, familial and school obligations, and a future to plan. Around you, the walls seem to close in and your buried claustrophobia activates – just breathe.
Stop. Breathe, and reconnect, go a bit more slowly. For your deadlines, fix a schedule that is flexible, but constructive. Steal the ten seconds and send the text message that reminds your family and friends that, yes, you’re alive – but busy. Sit in a corner, under a tree, or on your bed and face the daunting future. Exhale and realise that you are human, imperfect, and well-intentioned. Often, in the fight for the realisation of our wildest dreams – or even in the simple gratifications of laughing with friends – we forget. Let us remember that we are two-handed human beings; flawed, yet capable.
Part of this remembering to be awesome is remembering that we are all just trying to find ourselves along the journey we call life. This life is indeed challenging, but there is only so much we can do at one time. So, do like Niah, and just breathe. Breathe, and don’t forget to be awesome.