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Slowing Down Time

By: Jennifer Bews

Visiting and travelling with old friends is like a form of therapy. I’ve recently realized that my favorite way to travel is to head out to visit old friends. To reconnect with my younger self that felt a little freer. It’s fascinating to grow into an “adult”. It’s a transition I’ve been resistant to for a long time. It’s important that I share how I define the term “adult” here because if there’s one thing I’ve learned while studying communications is that the English language can be very deceiving. How we define things isn’t always definitive. Much of it comes for our own ideologies, community, and culture. One word can have multiple meanings and be viewed from various perspectives. And “adult” in the case of this article is someone who works hard to earn money in one way or another, someone who has found a career, met their match, has children, and commits to paying all their bills on time. What a narrow-minded definition right? There’s so much more depth and beauty to be found in adulthood and I am committed to revealing it. 

I have this obsession with seeking to understand how we transition from our “care-free” years to the “responsible” adult years. How can we maintain some of the care-free and light-hearted joy? How do we seek adventure? How do we pursue happiness? How do we resist the pressures and weight of societal expectations?

I was lucky enough to meet with a friend of mine who I love to have these kinds of conversations with. When we meet, we tend to skip right over all the small talk and dive right into the meaning of life. We share our concerns about how quickly time passes as you get older and how the years begin to melt together – a bit too closely. How can we slow things down? How do we embrace this new chapter and continue to stay open and curious? My friend asserts that we must stay adventurous and active. By keeping our schedules full of new things can help to slow things down. At first, I felt uncertain of his view as in my 30’s I’ve tried to slow down tremendously, not take on too much and stopped saying yes to so many things. Which can be liberating and regretful at the same time. Life feels good at this slower pace, although I’ve stopped doing the things that can light fires within. Working through this paradox of ‘doing more’ to slow time I wonder if my sense of slowing down needed a new definition? Maybe my views need to be adjusted. Maybe it’s not the “doing” that consists of going out, attending all the events, travelling as far and as many times as possible, but maybe it’s the simpler things of meeting someone new, starting a conversation with a stranger, writing down dreams, reaching out to an old friend you haven’t spoken to in years to tell them the great impact they’ve had on your life, sitting under (or in!) a tree to read a book…you get the picture. New adventures don’t have to be grandiose. We can create fulfillment and happiness in the smallest of ways. And that’s how I’ve decided to slow things down for the time being. And just like everything else, that perspective might change to something different when I need it to. 

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