Slow Down

The 20s are all about taking in the scenery of where you are. As young people, it's so very common for us to run around trying to squeeze every last ounce of life from each and every day we live. We're going to do as much as possible, and get the most out of it as well. Rest is for the weary, and the weak. Sleep when you're dead. Ya snooze you lose. Sometimes, we've got to press pause, look around, and notice what's going around us. Slow it all the way down.

It's my third year of college and to say I've thoroughly enjoyed myself would be a blatant lie. There are bright moments throughout my years so far, but mere glimmers of true happiness amongst a generally lackluster time. This year is so very different from all the others and that my positive affect is almost a daily thing. It's so weird to genuinely be feeling good and hanging out. College truly flies by like nothing else. We spend so much analyzing what it is. What we've done in a day (focusing on what we didn't accomplish), how we acted, and what we said as opposed to living in the moment and just being here. Take it in. We are in college. Whether I take note of it or not this is my college experience. There's no point in spending countless hours looking back or letting your mind wander somewhere else when there's more than enough to occupy your interests right where you are. This past week I made a point to take a nap (first time all semester #mylife) and to also look around whenever I was going someplace. By look around I mean really take it all in, the fluffy white clouds flirting with the blue of the sky, the color changing trees shedding their leaves without a care in the world, the picturesque mountain backdrop, the slight breeze that gently caresses your ears, and the faint smell of pumpkin, spice and maple everything. When people are astonished by this place I now understand why. It's a rarity that I "stop and smell the roses." As cliché as it sounds, just walking to class I see something or something that will get me to smile. Someone showing compassion for a stranger, a cloud shaped like a stuffed teddy bear, or a fearless squirrel gathering nuts for the winter - all of it is just there when you look for it. You can't and won't see it if you're speeding, dashing like lightning from place to place, darting, bobbing, and weaving around pedestrians, and flirting with time to prove it has no limits on your life. Take time for the world to appreciate and truly enjoy it. Take time to relax. Take time to be real  and to experience things with all your senses. Value where you are and what you're doing. Most of all, take a minute to be grateful to who you're with. Life is a gift. College is a privilege. Slow down.

No matter how hard I try there's no way for me to take it easy. Somehow I just end up doing the absolute most and going hard in the paint (this week it was like literal paint).  Wednesday was crash day, I cancelled all my meetings to do homework. Zipped through class, went to an affinity space for men of color (we all know I needed it) and unknown long took a nap that had me waking up in a panic right before I had to lead an RHA general body meeting. It was a lively one to say the least. From there it was back to the office to whip up a Greek Week (90s themed) banner with my brothers, Connor and Dom. Hot glue, paint, staples, markers, cut out shapes and one giant orange blimp later we finished up. Two and a half hours of hardcore crafting. My buddies Mac and Connor (aka blue steel) dropped by for a late night visit before it was time for me to power through homework until the early morn. Thursday meant classes for the whole day where I managed to actually stay awake for once. In the middle of the afternoon I met up with some my fraternity brothers and for a few minutes all the people we knew who walked by. Such a small thing, but taking those few moments greatly brightened up my day. From there it was on to my final class of the day, elementary Latin, and to another RHA program, Family Feud. Tori, tall-Sam, and I helped Brendan run our successful mock gameshow. The audience was lively and it truly was a fun time. I could have gone to bed but somehow ended up staying up to do more work. Mac stopped by after his daily post-library grind for more one-of-a-kind stories. Friday was my RA class (social justice - topics were sexism and heterosexism) then I dropped by the National Coming Out Day (which is problematic in and of itself) celebration as an ally, studied physics with my advisor Lane and sat through another confusing physics lecture. Changed real quick and played tennis with my friend Nathan (aka Nasty-Nate from my first year antics; not a fitting nickname). First time I've hit the gym all year and it felt great. Slowing down just to take the time to do something fun is always a refreshing change of pace.  I watched TV for 4.5 hours shamelessly (Arrow, the Tomorrow People, the Vampire Diaries, the Originals, and the Crazy Ones - all more than worth watching). I went to a slam poetry reading ny a renowned artist, Carrie Rudzinski. It was deeply moving and calming at the same time. Words, motion and the volume of voice all came together. Slow it down, take a look around and listen, breath, see, and feel. This whole thing can't last forever. 

The 20s are all about letting go and moving forward. The past is the past for a reason, it's already happened. The future is always but the only time we have is now. Now is the moment. Now is your chance. Now is wherever you are. Now is what you've got. Life, live it up. Live it down. Live it all the way out. Slow down (grab the wall, wiggle like you're tryna make you ass fall off) and just do you. 

My blog post question for the day is ... what's your favorite thing to do that you don't do enough? In all reality, it'd probably be sleep but if I was to actually answer this question it would probably be hang out, no distractions, no interruptions, no time limits.


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