So many things come with the new prospect of adulthood…which heavily includes advice, some wanted and some not so much, from our peers. Mostly, in the midst of a chaotic life, this advice comes at the most seemingly inconvenient times. We take it in as if we are still middle schoolers being over dramatic because something so menial occurred and “my life is over!” I had a moment like this when I adorned my cap and gown, stood back stage in a huge arena, and sweat nervously as I waited to enter the big open space to finally graduate from college. So many things were going through my mind that I almost didn’t see one of my past professors approach me, in his own version of the classic cap and gown. It was strange to stand there with him right before such a huge moment. I already felt more like his equal, rather than speaking to him as a teacher from a student’s point of view.
He said hello, gave me a hug, and gave me some of the best advice I have ever been given. He looked at me, smiled, and told me simply to “go slow”. Time escapes us so quickly and we are so very good at focusing on the irrelevant and inevitable facts of life, that we forget what living actually means. When he said that to me, my mind cleared. When I took my first steps into that huge room, filled with thousands of people, I just opened my eyes and looked at every inch of the space in front of me. I made eye contact with as many people as possible, seeing their happy and excited faces, I saw my own family and waved, with tears in my eyes, I looked and saw my friends, the ones who got me through the rough road that is college, and I just…went slow.
I like to create mantras for myself; ways to remind my brain to relax, and to realize that “yes, I CAN do this; whatever “this” may be. After this moment, I decided my forever mantra was going to be “go slow and embrace change”. Every aspect of life is in a constant state of change…and as we know this is not something that I handle well. However, I am learning how to deal with it, in my own way. I wrote this mantra on a small piece of paper that I now carry with me wherever I go. The written word can be so incredibly powerful, and sometimes all we need is that little reminder that the inevitable is in fact inevitable, and time my go quickly, but we should always practice going slow.