Slow Down

Kaitlin - USA
Entered on October 1, 2006
Age Group: Under 18

I believe in slowing down. Everyone speeds through life, not sitting back and realizing how great the simple things around them can be. We all get stressed out about stupid little things that don’t matter, and we never take the time to appreciate the things that do.

I was originally going to write this essay about not judging people on their appearance, but this weekend I changed my mind. The day of my high schools homecoming me and a small group of my friends decided that instead of going to the dance we would all go to my friend Dylan’s house (mostly because we are way too cool for dances).

At about ten thirty I decided to walk home rather than make my mom come and get me, it was a nice night and I just felt like having a little time to myself. That night was really foggy and dark, it was also absolutely silent. Occasionally I could hear a cricket or a car in the distance, but there were no other people in sight. Normally this might scare me a little, but there was this calming stillness in the air that can’t be explained. I could hardly believe that my neighborhood could be that beautiful. Over the summer I had walked that exact same way nearly every day, but that day when I slowed down and just let myself take it all in I could really appreciate how awesome it is. The way the fog absorbed the light from the few cars on the street, and the way that light peered through the trees, and even the way the puddles shimmered, or the few times the moon peeked through the dense clouds. It was quite literally breathtaking. It was one of those moments that (in the words of Jena Malone from Donnie Darko) “made me realize how beautiful the world can be”. The other times I had walked that exact rout, I had been in a hurry to meet someone, or to get home in time. But this time was different my mom let me stay out later because it was home coming weekend, so I could really take my time and just let it all in.

All summer I had been missing out because I was in a hurry, It made me realize how many people must do that every day, going about their business without really noticing their own world. It also made me wonder just how much I had missed, and resolve to keep it from happening again.