The importance of finding your fit
I run from room to room and chug coffee so hot it burns down my esophagus. One leg hobbles and hovers as I step into my shoe in my bedroom, the other one gets put on somewhere between the kitchen and the front door. I try to make myself look more "presentable" as I rush to put on makeup - a more superficial part of me that feels like I need it, stemming from the unconscious pressures of the media and superstars of whom our paths will never cross. I find annoyance in the little chirps of my phone as if the messages were coming from someone I did not want to hear from - and not who they really are from - my dear friends. I somehow lose my keys twice before a glance at my watch signifies that I am already late.
These mornings often repeat themselves and are not mine alone. They resonate with anyone who rushes through their morning. To many, busyness has unconsciously become a status signal. The busier we are, the better people that we must be. A metric that we all know doesn't necessarily hold true.
To quote one of my favorite writers, Brian Andreas,
"[I am] still amazed at how long you can wear a life that doesn't really fit just because that's what everyone else seems to be wearing."
I hate rushing. I hate working too much. But it is so easy to do when everyone else is doing it. This not who I want to be and I do not want to be part of a culture that normalizes it. I want to be who I am when I am traveling.
Have you ever been somewhere else, entirely different than where you're accustomed to, and feel more comfortable and at home with yourself than you've ever been? In our daily life, we create boxes for ourselves. Walls that keep others from seeing who we are and who we are striving to be. We fear their judgment for revealing our true selves, or their cynicism for our new ideas - although both are things we desperately want to share. But when we are in different territory, those walls fall away, and we step into a life that is more fitting for us.
When we travel, our perspective shifts. The world feels large and we very small. It reminds us that we only occupy a very small part of this world. Our egos begin to shrink. We begin to see with a different light those who we have left behind at home. The disputes and idiosyncrasies of others start to soften around the edges. Problems and little annoyances become smaller. We see our lives with a broader view; a heightened ability to see the whole forest and not just the trees.
We slip into the day unrushed. The coffee greets first our noses and then is enjoyed by the little sips. Time becomes irrelevant, there is no racing of one another.
We walk with more confidence and feel more comfortable in our own skin, with less outwardly and superficial pressures.
With strangers, we share deeper and sometimes darker or sadder parts of our lives that we have yet to share with others. And it makes us feel good.
We vow that when we return, we will give our friends our full attention. The cell phone chirps will be replaced by face-to-face meetings, and it will be an invitation to shelve our anxieties about the things we need to get done.
We savor these moments because we know our time in this location is transient. But how is that any different than life itself?
If the busy and high-energy life isn't for you either, find something more fitting. Just as you would try on a new shirt, try on a new idea. Or try on a new routine. You don't have to apologize for changing your style. Be bold in your differences. Work hard to discover a life that is most fitting to you and build a closet that holds the favorite pieces of yourself.
So one day, we can don the sweater and pants that perfectly fit us - and we won't care if we look different than everyone else.
Malinda Meadows is an Ohio native who was letting grief blanket her life.
She found healing through traveling and nature. She discovered changes of location led to changes in her mindset. It helped her process grief and forge a new path with greater optimism and happiness. Realizing the benefit of deliberate change, she now leads a more balanced and mindful life inspired by simple changes.
She blogs regularly at malindainthesnow.com to help others find change, however small, outside their box in order to live a happier, healthier life.