TAKE TIME by Alexandra Rain
The other day, I had a conversation.
This doesn’t sound extraordinary or even the slightest bit exciting. Conversation becomes quite usual, apart of routine. Words are exchanged every day, speaking has become habit. In that sense, “I had a conversation” begins to sound rather dull. How uninteresting.
Except, this conversation wasn’t dull or uninteresting. This shared encounter was remarkable.
The words of the conversation itself weren’t anything spectacular. Questions were traded back and forth, simple questions like, “What do you want to be when you grow up?” or “What universities are you thinking of attending?” and “Do you have any siblings?”
In and of itself, the conversation existed of basic small talk. I asked and answered questions that I had previously received countless times before. In a way, the dialect had become a repeated pattern.
I had asked, “What do you do for fun?”, so many times previous to that to fill in a sharp silence. Prior to this talk, I had jumped from topic to topic. I zig-zagged through speaking. I rushed.
In that conversation, I didn’t rush and that’s what makes it truly remarkable.
I didn’t move from subject to subject. I didn’t chase after a response when the question wasn’t even finished yet. I listened, noticing the way diction was shaped. I took in the way certain words were pronounced and the way this person squinted their nose when they laughed.
I didn’t zig-zag. I wasn’t nervous when there was a break in talking. I accepted the pause, and for once the silence didn’t seem as sharp or as painful. The break of noise was comfortable, therefore, nothing felt forced.
When I asked the same questions I had asked countless times before, it wasn’t because I was attempting to feel in a void. I spoke because I was invested and actually interested in what the other person had to say. That was the beauty of this encounter.
For the first time, in what feels like ages, I took time. More often than not, I am in a rush, existing in the consistent state of hurry. I could create an entire novel of reasons why I live in the non-stop way that I do but the truth remains this: I’m too busy looking ahead at what the next thing might be to enjoy the moment that is current. My mind is either fixated on the future or the past but rarely on the present. I must admit, it is terribly difficult for me to focus on the “right now.” This forward or backward thinking becomes extremely dangerous. This structure of thought steals from what is already there, robbing the moment that is more guaranteed than any other. The only way to escape this distracting train of thought is to take time.
Take time noticing the way someone throws their head back when they laugh or the way a smile slowly spreads across someone’s lips. Notice the motion of hands when someone speaks, listen to the way their voice raises and lowers. Look people in the eyes, admire the way their eyes light up or the way their eyebrows stitch together in a moment on confusion. Take time to realize how people carry themselves
Be in your surroundings. Take note of the way the clouds are formed or the shades of blue in the sky. Feel the way sun feels on the back of your neck, on the front of your hands. Listen to what cars driving on a busy street sound like and compare it to the way rain sounds on a Wednesday afternoon. Look at the places you are constantly at with fresh eyes, the same place in a different frame. Take time to be where you really are.
Take time to be in the now, be aware of the spectacular now.
The truth is, you will never have another moment like this spectacular now. It is constantly coming and going. The feeling of driving with the windows down, singing your loudest, dancing to your favorite song. The moments of being seven years old, consumed with little cares. The rain dripping on your skin, an open window as natural light floods in the room. The days of summertime when you were fifteen. The feeling of arriving at your first high school football game. Staying up late and talking to your best friend. The list goes on but it is inevitable that life doesn’t slow down for anyone.
Taking time and becoming aware of these moments make routine habits like small talk conversation transform into something more. Life evolves itself into an existence of wonders, beauty is captured in simplicity.
To borrow words from Ferris Bueller, “Life moves pretty fast. If you don’t stop to take a look around once in awhile, you might miss it.”
Don’t miss life, don’t miss the wonderful moments.
This is the spectacular now.