Essays,  Slice of Life

Stop and Smell the Flowers

 

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It seems like everyone hates 2020. It has for sure exposed long running inequality and corrupt systems. And while a lot of people feel like their lives have been thrown off balance,  my inner self seems to be unperturbed by this pandemic. Well, first of all, because I am cushioned by the privilege of living in Canada and working in a bigger company. Second, I have for the most part of my later life been a latebloomer. Making this supposed setback nothing new. (Or maybe, my brain just blocked off all my anxieties for the future as a trauma response, who knows?)

My timeline’s always been skewed with nothing going to plan. Since stepping into university I’ve found myself always late to the party. It’s taken me more than a decade to complete my undergrad degree, balancing varying jobs in between from being a fastfood cashier to an office assistant, to a digital producer. And now back to sales.

I didn’t realize that I had learned to appreciate my way of doing things the nonlinear way. Seeing everyone else slow down, taking a step back and falling into my pace made me feel… vindicated? That’s not quite the word. Smug?  Not really. Maybe validated. I also feel somewhere close to relieved and glad.

Welcome everyone! Took y’all a while to realize that it’s okay to slow down and there’s nothing wrong with taking breaks or enjoying where you’re at at the moment. I’m going to be honest. Seeing everyone hype their homemade meals, living spaces, plants, walks in the park, quality time with family and their “slowing down” gives me mixed emotions. My inner pettiness is slightly irked.  There have been so many instances when the world made me feel like shit when it was still “normal.” The constant messaging in North America is all about  productivity, hustle, and winning.  Meanwhile, the things I found valuable were frowned upon, tossed aside for the rat race. Because domestic things are just so homely and lacking glamour.

And now that the world’s (very) slightly shifted, it’s like these people have also capitalized on the imageries of the slow life. Sigh, can we ever actually escape capitalism at this point? But i am also really happy to have those who genuinely realized the joys of slowing down. Now we can all have zoom tea parties and agree that genuine connection, time spent with loved ones, and nourishing meals are all as equally valuable.

Somehow I feel that if we valued these more and put less focus on competition and material wealth, we would care for the earth and each other better. I’m ending this post with one of my favourite quotes from David Orr:

“The plain fact is that the planet does not need more successful people. But it does desperately need more peacemakers, healers, restorers, storytellers, and lovers of every kind. It needs people who live well in their places. It needs people of moral courage willing to join the fight to make the world habitable and humane. And these qualities have little to do with success as we have defined it.”

― David W. Orr, Ecological Literacy: Educating Our Children for a Sustainable World

 

 

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