you know, it’s not so bad to breathe. it’s actually really kind of wonderful to come home and drop all your shit and put on your softest, oldest yoga pants, that you’ve had since before they were called yoga pants. and then sit, and breathe in, and out, and that’s it. that is all you are allowed to do for five minutes. you are not allowed to get up, you are not allowed to start dinner, you’re not allowed to check twitter, and really, why don’t we just push all the things you have to do, the never-ending loop that runs like a brainwashing vhs tape through your head, why don’t we hit pause? for five minutes. so, i let myself do this.

i was intensely surprised at the way i could slow down. at how it is not failure to do so. i thought today of how my friend reminded me that i am more than the roles i play, that there is a woman, a person, under all of that. that i have form and shape and substance aside from what i do, who i do it for, the ways i connect. when i got up i was able to make a very clear and very manageable list. i abandoned the thought of dinner and ate a homemade larabar. i put some things away and dusted and re-ordered the top of my dresser, where i keep my me things, the spot i consider all mine in the small space i share. it had gotten really messy lately – maybe that says something.

i finished enough to make me happy, even though there’s a lot more to be done, and i sat and i sent a note i’d been meaning to. to a girl i’m not friends with anymore, but i have something of hers i’d like to return, and that’s the right thing to do. and if she is shocked and appalled to hear from me, well, at least i tried to do the right thing, right?

i thought about writing for you a little list of things i am, things to remind myself, things that might be news to you, but i’m not there yet. claiming identities, that feels…definitive. it feels like i will say x and you will say, “no, dominique, you are not x because a, b, and c” and your scrutiny, it scares me. this is ok though. i’ll mull those things over and i’ll make some sense of them first and i’ll build them as little mountains before i announce them, and then no one will have the power to knock them down.

and now, because i sat and i breathed in and out and i gave myself a break for five minutes to remind myself that i am human and that is fine and the whole world is not a contest in every moment, because i did this, i can choose what will make me happy tonight. and then i can do exactly that. if you are the kind of person who understands why the idea that you can choose to do things that will give you joy is kind of revelatory, then we will probably be friends. if you are not, well then, i envy you, truly.

pause every once in a while, guys. maybe even every day. i’m telling you, it’s worth it.


3 thoughts on “pause

  1. I am so bad at pausing. I want to, but my mind tries to fight it and then I feel guilty about all things I could be doing and should be doing but aren’t doing, but I need it. I need the pauses and sometimes, when they happen accidentally, when I just stop, even for just a minute and simply exist, I feel better. I feel okay.

  2. It was not all that long ago that you wrote about how you felt that taking a moment meant missing out; about how you leaned against the bouncer and fought tears of exhaustion and frustration and my heart hurt for you. So this makes me happy and proud and so glad that I can take this away and apply it to my own life.

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