After several years of absolute chaos - constantly being on the go, working, studying, getting involved, spending approximately 6 hours a day at home (usually spent planning my next day and trying to get a few hours of sleep in) - it's amazing how one can feel when life (also know as "the storm") starts to slow down.
I spent the last year planning and plotting my next 10 years, only to find out I am not doing anything that I had anticipated. Talk about a storm - trying to tell life how to run its course is no easy task and let me tell you, life always gets its way.
You don't really know what's happening in your life until it's already happened. I noticed this for the first time yesterday when I came to the realization that I'm in "the calm."
I was headed to the bus to go to a friend's house. It was a Tuesday and we were going to watch the Bachelorette because we went to an Indian dinner on Monday and missed it when it aired. Just to be clear, we went to an Indian restaurant for dinner. Anyways... I noticed that a storm was definitely on the horizon. It's summertime, the sun sets around 8:30-9ish, so you know something is wrong when you walk outside to a pitch black sky at 6:30 in the evening.
I knew we were under a tornado watch but "that never happens here." I boarded the bus. Within minutes, I saw rain pouring harder than I ever have before - and I lived in Charleston, South Carolina a month ago! It was insane. Lucky for me (sarcasm), we were at my bus stop so it was time for me to get off and head out into the rain. I get off the bus and I'm pretty sure after 2.3592 seconds, I was drenched.
What normally would have irritated the hell out of me actually made me smile. In fact, I started laughing hysterically. People hiding under the awnings of the buildings I passed probably thought I was insane. In that moment, I realized I was happy.
Happy? Me? HAPPY? There's no way. I just left a long day of training for work. I graduated college which was supposed to be the best years of my life. I am living in a new city away from all I've ever known. Key the internal argument:
"You can't be happy, Madison. You don't even know what you're doing."
"Oh shut up, I can too be happy because I am happy and there's nothing you can do about it."
Even though I was in the midst of a torrential downpour, I knew in that moment I had hit the calm after my storm. The years of overthinking everything, pulling all-nighters to get work done, running around without an internal red light all led to this - the moment that everything would stop and slow down. It's a time for me to stop trying to figure out me so I can actually just be me.
This version of me is happy. This version of me has a job. This version of me is on my way to a friend's house to hang out and make tacos. This version of me was laughing at herself. This version of me had reached the end of a storm.
I know chaos will come again someday, and much more will follow. But today it is calm. The ground around me is damp and I hear drops from the trees. The sky is pink and orange and tells the birds that it's clouds are empty and it's safe to fly and sing. It's a sign that a storm has just passed. Umbrellas are coming down and people are exiting their safe havens. I know that a car might quickly drive by and spray me with water from a puddle. I know that I might slip and fall. But those things don't scare me. Because today I am happy. Fear and happiness do not go together and today I choose happiness.