Have you ever experienced a time when everything just seemed more difficult? You know exactly what you're supposed to be doing, and you know that you can do it, but it's just draining? I'm not talking about instances of anxiety or depression, but something else that doesn't really have a name. It's like that feeling you get when something goes wrong and you just sit there and stare at it for a second before saying, often to yourself, "Bummer..." I'm sure there is a name for this feeling somewhere, and that's where I'm writing to you from now. Hello, my name is Mariah, and I'm about as real as they come.
I'm sure we can all agree that 2020, in a nutshell, has been quite a ride! Don't get me wrong, I'm thankful that so many still do have their jobs and have been able to find some form of opportunity in these trying times. My best friend was just able to land a new job after being laid off in the same week I was, so I know times are getting better~
I guess what I really just want to say is this: It's okay to feel whatever it is that you're feeling. It's okay to just take a step back, pause everything, and breathe. To be honest, I highly recommend disconnecting from everything, for at least a little while, every now and then. Turn off the screens, sign out of your socials, and just take a second to breathe.
Personally, I really love Zen philosophy in times like this. It's so backwards and upside down that it actually brings me peace of mind. I know sitting there and believing that we are all connected, part of the same universe, and intertwined with one another isn't everyone's cup of tea; but hey, I like it! Breathing is my favorite part of it all, and to quote one of my favorite people, this is why:
“Is breathing something that you do? Do you see? I mean, do you organize the operations of your eyes? Do you know exactly how to work those rods and cones in the retina? Do you do that? It is a happening. It just happens.
So, you can feel all this happening. Your breathing is happening. Your thinking is happening. Your feeling is happening. Your hearing, your seeing; the clouds are happening across the sky.
The sky is happening blue. The sun is happening shining. There it is, all this happening. And, may I introduce you, this is yourself. This begins to be a vision of who you really are.” — Alan Watts
I have to remind myself of something that I didn't discover until my late 20's. Life, for me, isn't about finding some mystical purpose or filling some niche that was made for you by some power that is beyond our comprehension. I realized one day, standing in a classroom teaching 24 students, that this is just an experience. In that moment, I finally understood that scene in the Matrix: "there is no spoon;" and I became more powerful than Obi-Wan Kenobi, Yoda, and all twenty-seven Skywalkers combined. I realized that if we weren't here to experience the world and each other, then none of it would even exist.
You're it, your feelings are valid, and you are the only you that will ever be here. You don't need to compare yourself to anyone, because that's like comparing a flamingo to the icy rings of Saturn. And before you look around to try and define success, I want you to stop and realize that success is just a noun. It has no real value.
Breathing is one of the oldest meditation techniques in the world and you can find a million videos on how to do it, but honestly, I think you've got it down if you're sitting here reading this. I bet you've been doing it for decades at this point. So let go of the videos, turn on some relaxing music, and just breathe, slowly.
For the curious, I'm still working on my certifications at the moment so content will still be slow. I'm going to do my best to get some interviews done so I can have some artist features to upload in the near future, and I also have some really, really exciting things in the pipe for later this month. Thank you to everyone who is sticking around during this quiet time and continuing to share my articles with their audiences. I appreciate each and every single one of you!
You make our community great, and it wouldn't be the same without you~