It's Time to Exhale

Treat Thompson


Personal Essays

I’ve been tensely tip-toeing through life with my breath held and my guard up.

I’m ready to take a big exhale.

My problem is always having made-up conditions I need to hit before I can breathe.

In grade 12 it was, “you can’t enjoy yourself until you get into university.”

In university, it was, “ . . . until after you graduate.”

After graduating, it was, “ . . . until you get a full-time job.”

I move the goalpost right as I’m about to score.

I don’t want to take in life until I feel secure. So I’m anxiously rushing through it to get past the hurdles.

I’m always setting the dinner table but never eating. I make happiness a thing only future me can enjoy.

But I’m learning there is no assurance in life. Every outcome is a probability.

There will always be something new that threatens my security. Around every corner is something waiting to make me uncomfortable.

So the best thing to do is roll with the punches and float with the tide. I need to thrive in the chaos.

I keep this quote in mind now.

“If you can’t learn to live happily without any assurance about the future, you’re not adapted to live in our finite world where plans fail, accidents happen, and nothing lasts forever.” — Alan Watts