I had a pretty scary experience this weekend. It was nighttime, and I was in the city by myself for a special event. This was far from a special circumstance – I’ve been into the city alone numerous times, and have never had an issue with navigating or feeling otherwise uncomfortable. I’d eaten dinner at one of my favorite restaurants, and was standing on line to attend an event I was really, really excited about. All in all, it was shaping up to be a great night.
That is, until I started feeling sick. What started out as minor discomfort eventually escalated to stomach pain that was so intense I could barely stand up. I told myself to power through it until my vision started blurring and I started being unable to hear. Sufficiently freaked out, I immediately approach a security guards at the door, who gave me a fizzy drink to sip on. This helped a little, but my lightheadedness (not to mention the stomach pain) continued. Given where I was in the line, it was pretty clear it would be a while before I could enter the building and sit down and possible feel better. After several minutes and texts back and forth my mom later, I made a tough call: Ducking out of line, I hailed a taxi to the train station and caught the next ride home.
In the nearly 72 hours since that experience, I’ve had a chance to evaluate what happened. When I first got home, I was exhausted and uncomfortable but also mad at myself. I knew from Instagram that the event I was going turned out to be a blast, and I was regretted not “sucking it up” (#FOMO). The more I thought about it, though, the more I realized just how imminent something like this was. For the past several weeks, I’ve been running through everything. Perhaps it’s stress about time management, or just general impatience, but I’ve been positively racing through my homework, tennis matches, writing, and even simple conversations. In my hurry, I’ve neglected to think through things the way I should have. This weekend is a pretty good example: After a long week, I insisted on going to the city by myself even though my mom was more than happy to go with me. It’s true that the event venue was a part of the city I’d never been to before, but I was so set on being independent that I hadn’t considered how having an adult nearby might have helped me. Of course, my mom not being there isn’t why I got sick – had I been pain-free, I would have made it through the evening as planned, with no early returns or FOMO necessary. Being by myself, however, did exacerbate an already scary situation.
It might have taken a frightening episode to get me to this point, but going into October I really want to slow down. While I wish this meant long days in PJs with Netflix, alas my schedule does not allow for that quite yet (eyeing you, Thanksgiving break). Instead, I’ll be focusing on taking my time, be it with an essay, a college application, or even a conversation. I’m at a point in my life where it’s tempting to press fast-forward, but this weekend taught me that living at an accelerated pace can have its consequences. With a little effort, I’m going to dial the speed back a bit and see where it takes me.
Have you ever needed to slow down? What helped you get to that point/what was your experience?