It has been an exciting week! Not in the sense that I’ve done anything incredible or even all that interesting, but based on the fact that Wednesday was Peace Day and Thursday was the first day of Autumn(!!). I had been trying to find the time to write something about each day, but alas, here I am on Friday, finally making the time to say a little somethin’-somethin’.
If the fall season were to have a hashtag, I would argue that it is “#change.” Yes, there is a valid point to be made that “#pumpkinspicelatte” or “#sweaterweather” could be the true autumnal hashtag, but that wouldn’t give me much to talk about that hasn’t already been criticized by a buzzfeed author or sorry-not-sorry’d by every proud autumnophile (I’m not sure what the real word is for someone who harbors a burning passion for all things fall, and I don’t care to look it up).
Today is a day for it. I began a post on Wednesday in honor of Peace Day, but I found my thoughts unfocused and a little confused, to be honest. I wanted to draft something about picking up the pieces on Peace Day– see the word play and alliteration? I am one of those classic millennials who, although I’ve been given every opportunity and have even taken advantage of those opportunities (I’ll be a 25-year-old lawyer in November, if all goes well!), feels like their body and mind have been spinning out of control for the past 10 years. To put it plainly and in too many works, my mind and body have been a royal wreck for the better part of my adult life. When I learned it was Peace Day, I was inspired to take the time to reflect on the phrase “peace of mind,” to both honor the holiday and argue that the phrase has become another unobtainable standard in today’s low-attention span society (I mean, let’s be real.. who’s even still reading this).
Peace of Mind
What does it really mean? Because, surely, it doesn’t mean self-compassion, love, and acceptance. Why does it seem like, in this world captivated by looks and coolness, that the new trend to watch is a balanced lifestyle? And yes, my heart wants to cheer for the women who are making oatmeal and walking meditation cool, but my head is telling me that “peace of mind” and “balance” have been swallowed whole by the big beast that is capitalism. How can I love, care for, and accept myself if there is now a standard of how to love, care for, and accept oneself? There are whole lifestyle blogs (quite like this one), instagrams, and brands with the public message of “ladies, you can all have this beautiful smile, this perfect skin, this rockin’ bod, AND be your true happy self,” but all my insecure mind registers is that “this woman will always be happier and more at peace than you.”
My point is this: because having peace of mind is now a requirement of the perfect woman, and because the perfect woman does not exist beyond airbrushing and edited words on a photo or page, finding balance has become a heart-breaking exercise in failing to meet an unobtainable standard. When, in reality, I think peace of mind would be to abandon the active search for such balance.
Which brings me to my first point about the autumnal hashtag being #change, because that’s what I am pledging today: to change. Just as the perfect guy comes along once you stop looking for him, I hope that peace of mind will come along once I stop trying to attain it.