Back in Michigan, the air is a crisp 18 degrees, slipping under my jacket and scarf, stinging my eyes into slits, and nipping my skin like tiny, sharp mouths.
Florida was warm and wonderful. The sun was toasty and pleasant, the seawater left a salty sheen on my lips, and my ghostly skin gained a little bit of pigment. But I missed my home.
Michigan isn’t always a wonderful place to be, and I used to fantasize about getting out as fast as possible. Now, as the months rush by, closer and closer to my graduation, I feel some doubts about leaving. New experiences are good—they are necessary. I just have to carry this place with me wherever I end up.
The world we live in is on fast forward. I always feel pushed to think about what we need to do tomorrow, the next day, in two weeks, in three months, in one year, in six years, in a hundred years. This pushing leaves a lot of room for doubts. It also fosters a lack of awareness for the present moment because I’m caught in the cyclone of my thoughts.
When this happens, I try to take three deep inhales and exhales, noticing how the air tickles and chills my nostrils on the inhale, and how the air is warm on the exhale. I feel my lungs fill, ribcage expanding.
Then I widen my focus, tuning into all the different senses around me. What do I feel, what textures are around me? What smells lace the air? Are there any sounds near, far or inside me? Can I taste what I was just drinking or eating? What exactly can I see around myself?