Spencer Berry

Slow down and evolve

2016 April 23

Evolution is one of those things I can imagine when I see the progression as a diagram, but I’ve often pondered its pace and cause.

I imagine it is similar to my own mental growth: a new thought pattern is prioritized, I pursue it actively in my mind, and eventually it becomes me. At least, that is how I would like to be.

When I return home from a particularly bright day, everything is near-black. I stare through the murky grays and slowly things I recognize come into focus. It happens slowly, as the fog of darkness lifts.

I am constantly experiencing a similar adjustment with my habits and self evolution. I adjust to new living situations, friends, projects, dreams, cricks, and so on, each becoming part of me and therefore invisible. Each day is colored by those previous, each thought colored by our experiences.

Isn’t this how we start to take loved ones for granted? How we forget where we began and are surprised with who we’ve become?

There is a distinct feeling when looking upon an old photograph, taken during a time of tumult: was I once that stranger?

When I go through something big and difficult, I want to take it in big bites, and let myself simmer, disrupting even my basic functions as I dive into the feelings. I don’t mind spending a day or two grumpy or sad or sour or distressed, knowing that I will progress and be a stronger me on the other side. I don’t envy those who choose to be around me in these times.

I feel like this approach stems from past traumas, knowing that my losses and their grief have left me better at the other end. Without experiencing grief, pain, tumult, it is left to linger and detract from any semblance of control we experience.

Reaching the end of the tunnel, I look up and remember that the world is still beautiful. I regain focus on the important things swirling throughout the peripheries.

In the grand scope of life, the process isn’t really that slow. I take the challenge head on, once I realize it needs to be confronted, but it feels slow. Wading through the murk of the mind, I discover all the nasty things previously suppressed inside of me.

Everyday I make new choices. My past may cloud those choices, but I don’t want it to control them. Habits are useful for becoming stronger and more efficient at repeated tasks, but they shouldn’t rule my direction. I want habits to be the elves of my deliberation, facilitators to the bigger picture and my more deliberate self.

What I don’t want is to let the myself slide without intention. It is easy to take a back seat to your own life and let habits form without intention.

I have plenty of bad habits formed from neglect, procrastination, and laziness.

The future should benefit from past lessons and face the pupil constriction with awareness, optimism, and flexibility.

Thanks Badgley for inspiring me to look in my drafts and find this 9 month old thought spasm that I never had the guts to publish.  It still doesn’t make perfect sense, but does life ever?

Photo taken from the Seteais Palace overlooking Sintra, Portugla