As fall makes its entrance into our lives, the leaves turn color as much as I continue to turn inwards. This year has been an encounter of realizations in which the path I paved for myself looks less and less enticing; something I know I can make better. I have set goals for myself and completed many. However, something seems missing, something that is intangible, that I can almost grasp inside. How does one begin to dig into the core of who we are and what independently we want in life? Mushrooms are a good place to start — we begin to peel the layers back revealing our tenderness and the emotional mush.
For this fall and winter holidays, the gift I have been asking for most is solitude. The irony is that I am always surrounded by people. I rarely have any time for myself and there is the conundrum. If I detach myself from everything I know (family, unity, sticking together, loving no matter what, etc.), I find myself aching to spend time with myself. A trip that has been on my mind for the longest is renting out a cabin in the woods. It’s snowing, I have plenty of logs for the fire, plenty of bourbon to drink, joints rolled up, and mushrooms to consume. But, most importantly I have time to spend with myself and write. I want to wake up early and see the sunrise as I breathe in the icy cold mountain air. I want the air to fill my lungs and my body with oxygen. Breathing is a major indication of being alive. As I write this, I have predominantly gotten warmer and warmer. The heater is currently on and I can’t stand it. I walk out where I find that it has rained the night before. There’s the smell of wet dirt, grass, foliage, and the petrichor refills me with life. I take a deep breath, inhale it all in, and walk back into the house where it’s musty, hot, and not much fresh air to breathe.
At times, we take things too seriously, especially ourselves. Things can get amplified all around us, elevating and pumping up our egos, making mountains out of molehills. I am currently working on my sustainability and the art of stepping away. What is stepping away? Say you’re in a confined space and something like a project or someone in the room is getting a bit annoying and fastidious, step away. Take a quick walk to the restroom, a quick walk to the kitchen for a glass of water, or a quick walk to the end of the office. Do something, anything, that gets some air in you. Once that is completed, I promise you’ll feel better and will have a difference of opinion instead of being bothered or annoyed. These small escapades have helped me be a better me. We all can use a few seconds to ourselves, check-in, and keep it going.
By Derrek G
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