Inhale. Exhale. It's funny how one single deep breath can calm your body. I won't go into the science behind it, or how your parasympathetic nervous system utilizes breath to signal safety to your mind and body, but simply put, breathe. It makes all the difference.
I felt some overwhelm creeping in. With new changes and new directions happening in the next week in my workspace, I felt as if I needed a breath of fresh air to get away from it all, step out of the city, and zoom out. I came across this realization as I was driving south on I-5 as I sipped my coffee on my way to work. In the distance, I noticed Mount Rainier in all its glory, glowing on the horizon. The sun was starting to rise and the light reflected off the snow just perfect enough to notice the imperfect beauty carved into the mountain top.
As I drove more south, I couldn't see the mountain. All I could see were buildings and freeway ramps blinding my view because what was right in front of me appeared larger than what was in the far-off distance. Why is it that the mountain I could see so well with the unobstructed city skyline was now unnoticeable?
And then I arrived at work. I sat on the sixth floor, looking out the window, noticing the view of the cars stopping at red lights and bustling on with the green. I thought this is much different than what I experienced walking into the building. I watched a bird fly past the window and thought about how their view is always like this--6 stories or more high, zoomed out with a fuller perspective.
My mind shifted to the chaos that feels like we are surrounded by on a day-to-day basis now. How sometimes what is right in front of us makes it feel so big and overpowering when zooming out is what will give us the full picture. Sometimes though, we don't have that privilege.
I was fortunate enough to be able to take a few days off work and take a step away from the city. I love to travel and get away, to explore, and discover this earth that we are lucky to be a part of if only for a short time of its existence. But with the past 11 months of fatiguing quarantine and social distancing, the chance to go somewhere, anywhere, was left on the back burner.
Travel always provides me with a new perspective. And this time, I went alone. No family, no Oatis, no friends, just me. For a twenty-something, I would recommend it a million times over. Go somewhere by yourself, zoom out, explore, and discover. You might learn just a thing or two about yourself in the meantime.