There Is Beauty In Stillness, But Also In Chaos

woman looking up, woman in lights, stillness and chaos, beauty in chaos, beauty in the mess
Shwa Hall

I have never been a quiet person. My mother told me that as a child, I talked and talked and talked. There was a world of things I didn’t understand. There were stories I had yet to share, and phrases I had yet to learn. And every time I opened my mouth, something new was discovered.

I didn’t like to be silent, to just watch and absorb.

The world was far more exciting when I could touch it with my fingertips, hold it in my palms, speak it to life with my imaginary friends, make animals and plants come alive with my words.

I was never good at being still.

I loved to move, to write, to see my hands flurry across a paper or keyboard—how quickly they could take the long-winded thoughts in my head and become something. How wonderful it was to move through life feeling, instead of letting it happen to me and around me.

Calm was not wired into my veins.

I played sports as a child, always running, always out of breath. I loved when we rushed from one activity to the next—ballet, soccer, Girl Scouts. Going door-to-door for a school fundraiser with my father is one of my earlier memories, the ground cold and wet beneath my cleats, my hair in pigtails, sprinting between houses while my father waited at the curb or in the car, diligently wasting away his Saturdays so I could win a Razor scooter for most boxes of cookies sold. There was something about the business of my life that I enjoyed—always a place to go, a thing to do, an item to accomplish, a goal to cross off from a list.

I remember my mother combing my hair before recitals. I remember the car tires screeching as we pulled into a parking spot and I ran to the soccer field, or basketball court, church—a flurry of rush and go and excited butterflies in my stomach.

The rush was born into me—I craved it. I still do.

I love the way the world feels when I’m at my fastest speed. When I’m writing notes, when I’m thinking of what I have to do next, when I have lists and goals and items I get to scratch off with accomplishment.

When I am so busy, every deep breath feels like relief.

I love getting caught up in the moment—where I’m spinning myself in circles, where every single moment matters, where I’m so damn dizzy with the things I’m doing and people around me and exciting projects it’s as if I’m a tornado crashing through. But one that brings pieces together, rather that destroys.

I’ve tried to quiet myself, quiet my mind, practice stillness with intention. But that peace doesn’t always sit right with me. I’ve always been the kind of person whose motivated by quickness, by fast-paced, by too much, by the rush, rather than the rest.

I’ve always liked to go. to do, rather than be a bystander in my own life.

I’ve never been good at taking time to do nothing—nothing has always felt like idleness to me.

It’s a process I’m still learning: to say ‘no,’ to say ‘wait,’ to say ‘I can’t do this right now,’ or ‘I need a break.’ It’s a process I’m still learning: to accept that I can’t be perfect, or accomplish every single thing I set my heart out to do.

But I’ve also accepted that some people work better when the world is fast-paced, when there are so many things to do it’s almost overwhelming, when they are productive and busy and in a flurry of excitement—and I am one of those people.

There is beauty in stillness. But for some, there is beauty in chaos, too.

And so I will take time for stillness, for patience, for peace. I will take time to slow down, to breathe, to reset and renew my tired heart. But I will also celebrate the moments of quickness, of crazy. I will move fast, breathe deeply, run until my legs give out. I will work with ferocity, with passion.

I will own the wildest parts of me. TC mark

Marisa Donnelly

Marisa is a writer, poet, & editor. She is the author of Somewhere On A Highway, a poetry collection on self-discovery, growth, love, loss and the challenges of becoming.

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