Learn how to love living slowly, even though we live in a world that wants us to go fast; even though we as a species have been raised to view slow as something that’s generally bad. We’ve been made to believe that slow is a terrible thing—slow connotes incapacity, insubstantiality, incompetency. We’ve been conditioned to think that slow is synonymous with broken. It reminds us of something rusty, something that’s been left in the dark for way too long, something that needs to “get it together and hurry the fuck up.”
But we must learn how to love living slowly.
Living slowly means literally stopping to smell the flowers. It means being able to afford the time to close your eyes as you chew that first bite of doughnut at breakfast. It means knowing that there isn’t a need to chug your cup of coffee in 30 seconds and knowing that the world isn’t gonna end if you take five minutes every night to look up at the stars.
Living slowly allows you space to be grateful for a present that’s been given to you or be apologetic when a sorry is in order. It allows you space to sing to your favorite songs or do a little dance, even when you’re running late for an appointment. It allows you space for more warm embraces, more cuddles by the fireplace, more laughter around the dinner table.
Living slowly gives you the opportunity to love and be loved in return. You are not rushing through anything when you are living slowly, and so it gives you the chance to actually get to know somebody and to get to know yourself.
When you live slowly, you get the text from a friend and you respond. Your grandma calls and you pick up. Your cat brushes his forehead against your ankle and you pick him up, even when it’s almost midnight and you just want to hit the bed.
When you live slowly, you learn to appreciate silence. You become accustomed to the beauty of pauses in music or a blank canvas or that empty blue space in the sky as it clears up after a rainy day. When you live slowly, you get to be grateful. You get to be self-aware. You get to be thoughtful in your words and in your actions.
And sure, fast is successful, fast is sharp, fast is fierce. Fast is revolutionary.
But slow… slow is happy. Slow is gentle. Slow is affectionate. Slow is genuine.
Slow. Much like the speed at which our hearts beat when we are in the presence of loved ones.
Slow. Much like the sliding of the fingers down a lover’s upper arm during a tender kiss.
Slow. Much like the way a light dress flows as it descends a palace staircase.
Slow. Much like jazz music—something that doesn’t demand attention but is always worthy of it. Something that typically plays in the background, something whose purpose was never to yell but to whisper, carefully and intelligently; something that is easy to listen to and difficult to forget.
Stop going too fast. You’re not gonna get left behind. You’re not missing out on anything. You’re not losing at life.
In fact, slow down if you do not want to get left behind.
Slow down if you do not want to miss out on anything.
Slow down if you do not want to lose at life.