It’s Okay To Linger

woman kissing man on neck
Candice Picard / Unsplash

By nature, I’m a perpetual lingerer.

But when I linger to my heart’s content and allow myself to capture the essence of a magical moment, I beat myself up for it, and scold myself for dawdling and dilly-dallying too much.

Today, it’s not acceptable to stop and smell the roses. Or fall into a deep sleep. Or embrace the simple majesties of life.

Or remain in the moment for longer than what’s necessary.

I’m the kind of girl that reads too much between the lines, replays a song over and over again, sits in complete silence for hours, and stays up late at night, lingering with the multitude of thoughts and visions in my mind that do not want to be rushed to sleep.

I’m not satisfied with just hearing a song or having it play in the background as I grudgingly do things that I need to do and attempt to check off boxes on an infinitely long to-do list. I want to give my undivided attention to the artists that worked so hard to craft something from the depths of their hearts and really listen to what they have to say, without anything else occupying my mind as I play their songs on repeat, with each listen shedding light on something that I haven’t caught onto before.

I’m not satisfied with passing by a garden of flowers, noting how beautiful they are for just a second, and then jogging to my next destination. I want to sit by them, examine their intricate beauty, hold them in the palms of my hands, and allow their scent to purify my lungs that have been holding in too many breaths to count, due to living an entire life in fear and helplessness.

I’m not satisfied with chugging a huge cup of coffee and rushing towards the computer first thing in the morning, but out of necessity I do so. I want to sit by a window for an hour or more, write whatever my soul desires to, and breathe in the rich aroma of coffee, while drinking from the mug one sip at a time and actually savoring it.

I want to be more present in my life, but all I seem to do every day is scramble around with frenetic energy that ends up draining me a couple hours later. I realize how much I want to sit still and appreciate all that brightens up my day and never brush off anything that may seem too small or dismiss it as a waste of time.

I want to return to my roots and linger to my heart’s content. I want to open up my mind to the wonderful miracles that are hidden in plain sight. And actually allow their presence to be fully integrated within me.

But the cynics say that it’s impossible to do so. There’s always more money to make, more boxes to check off, more places to see, more people to meet and please, more work to be done, more battles to fight, more rewards to accumulate, more pursuits to add to our list of things that make us prouder (and to make us feel less insecure with our lack of accomplishments in comparison to someone else’s), and overall, more things to chase after just to say that we are worth something.

For the longest time, I thought I wanted that. I thought that the more I accumulated and the more I caved into the demands in order to ease my fear of disappointing people and missing out on whatever it is that makes others happy, the happier I’ll be too. And then I could maybe take a small break. Maybe then, I could deserve a few seconds to dwell in the present. Only after I rush and rush and as a result of all that rushing, I could possibly earn the right to stop and think.

That’s a lie. Appreciating the smallest, simplest, and joyous things in the present doesn’t have to be earned. Contentment and inner peace do not have to be validated. You do not have to prove that you’re worthy enough to rest.

Anyone can have this. Somewhere deep inside, we all have the desire to linger in life and become fully immersed in the moment, but we’re discouraged from doing so, and out of fear of our own insufficiency, we cave into the pressure to keep up with the world, at the expense of our bodies, at the expense of our minds, and at the expense of our hearts.

But it shouldn’t be this way.

I want to return to my roots and linger to my heart’s content. I want to capture eternity right now and dissolve the boundaries of time. No more longing or hoping for some far distant future. No more rushing to achieve vain aspirations that are deep-rooted in the fear of not being good enough for the people that deeply hurt me. No more forcing myself to brush off the things that make me alive. The things that make me human. The things that make me who I am, a lingering soul that seeks to transcend the limitations of time.

By nature, I’m a perpetual lingerer. And I intend to remain that way. Thought Catalog Logo Mark

Related

More From Thought Catalog