Gentle

As I said before, it’s getting down to the wire for my classes, which, unfortunately, means I don’t have as much time for fun things. Instead I’m writing feasibility reports and historical reflections.

I like the idea of reflections, just not the formalities. I wish someone would ask me those prompts in person. What a conversation it would be!

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It was beautifully muggy yesterday evening

I think I’m losing the art of conversation. I don’t know if I just don’t talk as much here, or if I’m really just bad with small talk, but more and more I find it less pressing to talk to people. It’s still nice to have a conversation, but I realized my thirst is not in speaking, but in holding an in-depth conversation. I’m a listener, but that doesn’t mean I can’t express my own thoughts and opinions.

(Speaking of, I finally registered to vote today)

My COMM theory professor from fall semester brought up a recent study performed by one of his colleagues, and it stated that people of my generation were exceedingly good at multitasking. After expoing for two years now, I have no doubt I am great at multitasking. However, the study also said people of my generation scored significantly low in reflection. I remember furrowing my brows at that. What? What did this guy know?

But the more I look around, the more I see that some of my friends don’t reflect on anything. I specifically remember telling Mary “reflection is important!!”, and I’m pretty sure she needed to hear it – you’re welcome, Mary.

It’s like people don’t understand that they can try to answer the “why?” and “how?” questions themselves. “Why do I feel guilty about the way I treated this person?… Because it was the wrong thing to do, wow I should apologize.” “Why is it that I’m unhappy?… Maybe you’re feeling unfulfilled.” “How can I be fulfilled?… Try new things, find what you like.”

Some days I feel like I’m the only person who reflects. Then again, maybe I reflect too much. I’m always in my head when I walk to class or the gym. The gym is usually the only time my brain is absolutely silent, and that’s why it has become my savior over these past few years.

Anxiety? Run.

Sad? Better lace up those shoes.

Stressed? Boy you’re gonna be sore tomorrow!

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Unfortunately, the rest of my body disagrees with me, and it always tries to ruin my progress either by destroying my knees, my heels, or – now – my shins!

Sometimes having a silent mind can be more helpful than being reflective. I take after my mom in that my mind is always running before bed unless I can really tire myself to the point of exhaustion (which hasn’t been difficult since senior year of high school).

Some of my friends are really into eastern philosophies, and I remember trying my hand at meditation. I struggled with it (“Am I doing this right? No I shouldn’t be thinking… I think I got it – damnit no I shouldn’t be thinking!”), but I eventually got the hang of it. It really helped me go to bed. I think it’s similar to that savasina thing at the end of yoga, even if I’ve somehow pictured myself in a different world.

I think my ability to multitask and remain calm is due to my success at meditation. It’s not like you avoid all thoughts that come into your head – you accept them, finish them, and let them slip right on through. I realize I do this when I expo. When I’m suddenly overwhelmed with tickets, I internally scream, and then pull myself together, let the tickets flow out as fast as they flow in. I like the challenge it brings, and I’m always proud of myself at the end of a big rush.

I guess it’s important to find balance then. Multitasking is a great skill of our generation, but don’t forget to reflect. It’s important to balance a fast-paced life with enduring thoughts. It’s how you come to understand yourself and people around you better.

Knowing yourself is the beginning of all wisdom. – Plato

(Never thought I’d ever be the person to quote a Greek philosopher…)

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