I come from a slow-paced, small town in Kansas. As a little human this was an excellent pace for me. My parents were able to be overly attentive, I was able to try many different activities and explore my neighborhood on my own.
As a teen the slow pace became stifling. Insert dramatic eye roll of adolescence here. I would lament frequently that there was “nothing to do!” I began dreaming of the hustle and bustle of city life.
When I was finally able to branch out on my own as a young adult, I made my way to Omaha. For years I would tell myself that Omaha was my “starter city” and that one day I would move on to a bigger one. However, after graduating with my degrees, I did what most of us do, and jumped right into the grind culture of capitalism. I did not want to waste any time starting to build my career (aka my life). I kept telling myself, once you hit this next professional milestone, then you will figure out how to make those big city dreams happen.
Then came motherhood. Motherhood was the first experience to bring awareness to the fact that I had built my life around my career and because of that, much of it was not fulfilling. Now I had a whole other person’s life, and hopes and dreams, to think about. I officially could not put my wants first, which created a real conflict with the realization I had not been building my life on my wants in the first place.
A decade and another kiddo later, I have figured out what I want life to look like outside of the lens of capitalism’s grind culture. However, the lingering sense that I should have moved to another city was one that I just couldn’t shake. So, I recently booked myself a solo trip to New York City.
I spent four days navigating the city of my childhood dreams, checking off bucket list experiences, and taking in the sites. The trip gave me the affirmation needed to shake off that final lingering wonder, should I have moved?
Much of what I have learned about myself is that I need a slow pace. I am by nature a very fast paced person. I was a hyperactive kid. I constantly catch myself speed walking for no reason as if I am late to something all the time (thanks anxiety). I have often been critiqued for talking too fast and I have no idea how to harness the concept of being still, but yet I can meditate with music for almost five minutes at a time now, so we are making progress. It is the slower pace of a smaller city that compliments my personality and allows me to cultivate peace in my life.
What pace do you need to cultivate peace? How do you check out of the grind and check in with yourself? These are questions I find myself and my clients digging into as we see the world attempting to re-enter the pace of life prior to the pandemic, even though we are still in a pandemic. It is a time that feels ripe for change and a reevaluation of the things we thought we should do.
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