Leaving My Stress Behind

Krystan - Rio Rancho, New Mexico
Entered on December 12, 2007
Age Group: 18 - 30
Themes: pleasure
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I believe in crunching leaves.

I had been walking around for days in a fog like state. I felt lost in the emotionally dampening stress of responsibilities, papers, assignments and work. I usually tend to be the kind of person who notices weather and enjoys the changing seasons. However, I had been so preoccupied with my life, that I did not even notice the autumn leaves that had blanketed the ground all around campus. While walking to my government class, I was completely caught up in planning my day and the week ahead of me. I was intently gazing down at my Ipod when I glanced up and noticed the path to my class was covered in fresh fall leaves. They looked untouched and I felt a glimmer of hope I had not experienced in a long time. I was launched back into my childhood, growing up in Alamogordo, NM. I remembered the simple pleasure of walking across leaves lying on the ground…raking leaves in my front yard during the fall…piling them up and then jumping into the heap, making a mess of all the work I had just done. I crunched the crisp leaves with the bottoms of my shoes, smiled and went about my busy day.

I am only twenty-one, but some days I feel as if all the uncertainties of life consume my every thought. At times, I feel older than I am and that the days of having no worries are lost in my past. I see the things of the world and they overwhelm me. As I finish my last year of college, I am told daily that I must do things I don’t have time for, just to improve my resume and make myself better than my competition. I am pulled right and left, to work on this and that, being told that I need to figure out who I am and what I am going to be.

But I know who I am, even if I don’t know what I want to be. My hope is not in my portfolio or how successful I am. Although I think we all get caught up in this cycle sometimes. So this I believe-I believe in doing things that make us feel young. I believe in enjoying the little things in life. Instead of walking around a puddle…splash right on through it. Blow bubbles in your coffee…just for fun. Always acting your age is overrated. And next time you see fresh leaves…give them a little crunch.