I promised myself today would be the day I would breathe again. People take close to 20 breaths every hour. I am certainly entitled to one.
But, you see, I’ve been holding my breath for years now. I’ve been holding my breath waiting to be perfect. Waiting for the right job, the right home, the right man, and the right life. Waiting for the life that modern culture told me was just right.
And, in all that time waiting, I forgot to breathe. Each day, while scrolling through curated images projecting perfection, I felt I was getting further from happiness. I felt I was getting further from fulfillment. And with those feelings, I found myself suffocated by comparison. Whether software-whitened smiles and heavily filtered sunsets, I lost myself in my desperate questioning of why my life didn’t live up to the half-truths posted by everyone around me.
But there’s danger in drowning in the half-truths of influencer culture because on the other side of that half-truth is a malignant lie; a lie that leads to a festering infection of envy, a lie that leads to a suffocating sense of inadequacy. And, so we forget how to breathe. We forget how to live.
But, today? Today is the day that I will start living again. Today is the day I will fall back in love with the world that, quite frankly, hasn’t been as cruel to me as my tendency to self-victimize would like me to believe In fact, it has been more than equitable with the share of good fortune it’s provided me. By learning to live again, by learning to breathe, I’m honoring the life I’ve taken for granted so far.
Today I will find grace in abandoning my need to compare, I will find peace in letting go of that which no longer serve me, and I will find comfort in knowing that I am not working towards perfection because the most perfect life is a grateful one. The most perfect life is a present one.
Learning to live again, learning to breathe, is found in unfollowing our phones and investing our time in ways that make our days seem full. And I am worthy of breathing again. I am worthy of living again.