Most of my friends dislike taking buses, all for very good reasons, but it’s something I currently revel in. I like to sit there on the faded blue seats and pass time by myself. I nod in time to the music blaring from a nearby passenger’s iPod, note the perfectly immaculate clothes of the teenage girls at the back of the bus gossiping on about their day, study the advertisements, practice my French by reading the emergency exit instructions, enjoy the first blue sky I’ve seen for months, and think. Those 20 minutes it takes to get home are spent doing nothing, yet they are the most important of my day.
I heard somewhere that human beings are creatures of society but I believe in having time to myself for a few minutes each day. I’m 15 and life is a busy thing. It’s crammed with school, homework, activities, relationships, and new experiences. Having some down time just to do nothing helps me reflect.
Although the first time I recognized it was two years ago when I started walking home from school, I guess I have always known subconsciously the value of spending some time alone. I used to run twice every week, rain or shine. In fact, I had preferred running in the rain, just listening to the steady rhythm of my breathing and runners against the ground, feeling the coolness of the air and water against my skin and seeing the lake with the trees and its yellow leaves and focusing on all of that; I’d forget I was even running. Only, at that time, I thought the phenomenon of inner calmness was created by the exercise. Now I think back, I realize that maybe it was the jogging, maybe it was both the exercise and the quiet to reflect.
Today, even as I careen around, from swimming to school to spending time with friends and dealing with my adolescent brothers, I make some time to think or to enjoy the silence. Busy as I am, I catch these moments here and there. Maybe it’s during dinner, in the middle of math class, walking to the mall, riding on the bus, or as I’m waiting to fall asleep. So I slow down and think for a bit. Sometimes it’s petty trivial things like the outlandish outfit a woman was wearing at the Coquitlam Center station; perplexing things like how certain people make my day simply by saying ‘hi’; philosophical things like what I live for; or whimsical things like the shapes clouds make in the sky. I reason with myself on why I believe being plugged to life-support should be an option. I relieve moments of a funny conversation between my brothers and me and smile to myself at a joke remembered; hold an internal debate; or even, clear my head of everything except the throbbing beat of the music and dance (privately, in my room, with the door locked, of course.)
These moments I take for myself are infinitely valuable. I amuse (one who amuses oneself will always have something to be amused about), find, gain a better understanding of myself as an individual. Without all this, I won’t be the person I am now. This I know. This I believe.
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