Readin’ with Rachel: Stopping to smell the flowers


This picture was taken in Copenhagen while I was walking with a friend! Manifesting this energy now.

Rachel Scully, Campus Editor

Over the past few months, I felt myself slipping more and more into a monotonous cycle. I wake up, do school/work and go back to my bed to relax for a couple of hours before going to sleep for the night. And then it’s all repeated the next day. I felt like I was not enjoying the present, like I was mindlessly going through the motions.

I am sure I’ll get some jokes for this, but I had an awakening while scrolling through TikTok. (Yeah? What about it?). The TikTok asked viewers to imagine themselves as an older version of themselves on their deathbed, telling their granddaughter that they wish they were young again, only for the child to say, “Open your eyes.” The viewer then realizes they are young and needs to live life to its fullest. To get the full effect, I recommend watching the TikTok. 

I thought my busy schedule meant I only had time to work on academics or other work. My life became solely about completing the next task — from the moment I woke up to the moment I fell asleep. The pandemic’s forceful isolation and the new home-work environment slowly pushed me to see my home as only a workplace. 

This caused me to rush things and to make simple mistakes. I did not complete tasks with care. I was feeling burnt out.

If you have ever seen Jordan Peele’s incredible film “Get Out, then you probably know about the “sunken place,” a void where you watch your life go by while another person controls your body. While I can promise you that I am not being controlled by some crazy person, I do feel that I am watching my life go by without being in  control — like I am in some kind of shell. But I’m not. 

I control my life. 

My life is more than completing tasks. I want to soak in the sun rays on a Sunday morning or splash in a large puddle in the rain. To put it simply (and less dramatically), I want to enjoy my life.

In that moment, after thinking about the TikTok, I took control. First, I realized I had to let myself feel my stress. I took time to take care of myself, I vented to my roommate, and I even let out some emotions along the way. Needless to say, I felt 10 times better the next morning. 

While I didn’t reach this conclusion in an aesthetically-pleasing way, it was still a wake-up call. 

I’m teaching myself to take time outs. Throughout the day, I take little breaks, whether it be a walk outside in the fresh air or to the fridge for a cheese stick. Though it seems like a simple fix, I need to constantly remind myself to do this! I get so caught up in my work that I need to force myself to walk away from my desk. 

Nevertheless, those little breaks have gotten me out of that shell. I am happy to learn how to, literally, stop to smell the flowers.