With more time at home and fewer social interactions, I have had a lot of time to rest these last three months especially. I have been asking myself: what does rest look like for me? How do I practice rest without guilt? While I have mentally acknowledged for several reasons that my rest is necessary (and maybe even more importantly, revolutionary), I still can’t quite let myself relax and take a break. There is still a thought in the back of my head saying I can’t quite stop and that there are other tasks that need to be done. I know this is heavily influenced by a capitalistic mindset that my worth is inherently tied to my productivity and output, but I am still fighting to embody this lesson. Embody it in a way so that when I don’t have plans for the day my mood doesn’t diminish or my mind doesn’t start racing to think of activities to fill the time.
I just moved in with three roommates, and every day I answer the questions “how was your day?” or “what did you do today?” or “do you have any plans today/tomorrow?” All of which are valid and considerate, but I find it hard to answer “oh, you know, nothing much happening with me.” For the most part it’s true; I might have a couple work meetings and intentions of calling some friends and family, but other than that I am free to rest. As I write this, I am thinking that maybe it’s all about reframing. Reframing the “free” time as time to reconnect with myself, figure out what I want, discover what gives me joy. I am graduating this spring, and I have spent three years committed to one destination, with the possibility a few different routes, but now I wonder if I happened to come along a new destination. I used to think the two phrases “you have your whole life ahead of you” and “life is short” were opposing each other, but now I can see how they are complementary. Life is too short to not choose happiness, joy, and rest, but we also have our entire lives to continue figuring out what that means. What brings us happiness, joy, and rest will surely change because we change. I am still trying to know what rest feels like in my body, who I am when I’ve rested.
I am a moderately spiritual person, mostly intrigued and curious, and manifestation is very common within the spiritual/religious world. I have never connected with the word, and its meaning, but recently I was talking with a friend and she said, “pushing into existence.” That phrase really struck me, and while she said it because she couldn’t think of the word manifestation, it felt different. When I think of pushing something into existence, I become more of an active participant. Changes and opportunities happen because we have pushed them to happen, maybe by simply stating that potential reality, or maybe with some more effort like doing work and making decisions. So for these days, I am pushing into existence my rest, my revolutionary end to equating conventional productivity to my peace.
~ Erica Calloway, Class of 2021 Bachelor in Social Work