In this day and age, it is so natural to feel rushed to achieve anything and everything possible. I am bombarded by the question of people asking what I am doing this summer, at times insinuating that if I do not have an impressive internship that my life will be meaningless this summer. What I have begun to realize is that life is actually much more meaningful if you take the time to exist in the spaces and moments you have created for yourself.
During the school year, I am so used to spending all day and night busy with a plethora of random tasks. From my daily to-do lists to staying up until 2 and 3 in the morning most nights, I had a tendency to fill each second with something.. anything. With a new perspective in the summer season, I have spent much of my time reflecting on what it means to simply exist and to indulge in the moments we are already provided.
Recently, one of my friends and I were having a conversation about this exact topic, that we have a way of feeling worthless and unproductive if we are not consistently achieving new goals and getting things done. He said that he feels as though it is an "internalized capitalist ideal to be constantly productive." Once I thought about it in that light, I have not been able to stop.
The culture of the society we live in makes it feel unbearable to just pause and take a break. We are surrounded by wealth and awards and achievements which all provide an immense amount of pressure to be successful. What we do not talk about is how happy we can truly be even if we are not checking things off a to-do list. The capitalist society can actually invigorate people and create industry leaders, but it can also be damaging at the same time. This idea of constant movement does not always equate to happiness. In fact, taking time out to do things you love outside of your repetitive daily schedule can be equally important to keep a balanced life.
Now I will admit, when I first came home for the summer, I found it to be extremely difficult to not be productive 24/7, but now, I am learning to embrace it and appreciate moments with others without feeling the pressure that I need to be moving at all times. Life is hectic enough as it is, and we do not appreciate simply existing.
After my evaluation during my first month home, I love the person I am when I am busy and productive because I truly believe that those are the times when I thrive. This being said, I love who I am when I am relaxed and appreciating the sheer fact that I live a very blessed life. We need to learn to appreciate the fact that life will never be measured by the number of things we do, but the way we lead ourselves from day to day.