Don’t forget to stop and smell the roses- by Elizabeth Bain

Each morning I try to rise early. Feel the suns soft fingers warm rooms with stale air and quiet walls. Hear the kettle hiss and my cat sweep her tail against bare legs. I’ve learned that cozy blankets on Friday evenings are a lot more reliable than house parties in my home town.

Being on my own has become my way of life. Maybe it was too many people telling me that the only person you can truly depend on is yourself or maybe it was finding comfort in hot showers and face masks. At this point, after moving out, I have spent a lot of time with myself. And maybe being alone isn’t the holiday we envision. Sometimes heavy eyelids prevent us from early mornings. Sometimes the stress is strangling and we need someone else to pry it’s evil hands from our necks. Sometimes a phone call isn’t enough. We need companionship. It is not in human nature to survive alone.

I thought that independence meant I was growing up. I felt no fear the first time I took the train alone, I didn’t feel scared in the masses of malls in an unfamiliar city. But growing up is something else. Growing up is spreading your branches past the frame that you hold yourself within. It is so easy to say you’re afraid, and sometimes you really are and that’s okay, but it is so rewarding when you go for it. Sometimes I find myself being too ready for growing up, being in my 30s with a stable job and cute kids and a cute husband. But what I’m coming to learn, is how can I ever be satisfied with stability if I don’t lose my balance? How can one find comfort trapped within borders if they never cross them? When I do make it ‘stability’ I want photo albums of adventures and journals full of stories to tell and teach my children. Sometimes I find myself scared to die, but even more, I’m scared to not live. Many daily events, grocery shopping or putting gas in your car, fail to fill your soul the way that late night car rides with open windows and stars on your breath do. When you breathe in a sunset so deep that you feel as light as the air playfully whipping your hair. Submersing yourself in the oceans grasp is more clarifying than a cup of coffee or a morning spent on the treadmill.

Of course I know that most of these things are unattainable on the average day. But that is why I have decided to embrace the days where adventure presents itself. Try to be afraid of the right things. I’m trying, too.


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