Just Relax

Hannah - DuPont, Washington
Entered on March 16, 2008
Age Group: 18 - 30
  • Podcasts

    Sign up for our free, weekly podcast of featured essays. You can download recent episodes individually, or subscribe to automatically receive each podcast. Learn more.

  • FAQ

    Frequently asked questions about the This I Believe project, educational opportunities and more...

  • Top Essays USB Drive

    This USB drive contains 100 of the top This I Believe audio broadcasts of the last ten years, plus some favorites from Edward R. Murrow's radio series of the 1950s. It's perfect for personal or classroom use! Click here to learn more.

I took a breath after a long angry rant to my friends and look around the table in the comfortable café waiting for their sympathy. When somebody spoke it was not what I had expected. “Hannah, just relax.”

I don’t think three words could have sounded worse to me after trying to explain to my group of friends what had been bothering me all day. My heart was pounding with anger, anger that I couldn’t even completely justify. I guess I was mad that she didn’t understand what I was upset about and I was mad that she thought it was that easy. I glared at her for a second over my steaming cup of tea before slumping back in the familiar chair and returning to my sulky thoughts.

It might be my tendency to over think things, or the fact that it’s in my nature to worry but it seems like every time I start thinking about anything important it’s like opening the flood gates. Thoughts rush in about people in the world that are starving, people being slaughtered, and injustices being committed. I think about how I want to make a difference in the world. I start thinking about how I’m such a tiny fraction of everything that it’s hard to make anything count. I think about things in my own life like how I don’t know how I’m paying for college or if I want to go to college. There’s my lack of a job, the fact that I still haven’t signed up for drivers Ed and I still have a paper to write and I’m still not doing anything about anything because I’m too busy sitting on my ass getting caught up in those stupid reality TV shows.

It seemed ridiculous, I was thinking about things like what I was doing with my life and my place in the world and I should just relax? Maybe she should be more worried if she’s not thinking about those things!

Uncomfortable in the chair and full of anxious energy from my scattered thoughts I rearranged myself, tap my fingers a few times on the table in agitation, then pick up one of the books lying on the circular table, hoping to distract myself for a few seconds. Opening to random page a poem caught my eye. “Last night the moon came dropping its clothes in the street, I took it as a sign to start singing, falling up into the bowl of the sky. The bowl breaks. Everywhere is falling everywhere. Nothing else to do. Here’s the new rule: break the wineglass, and fall toward the glassblower’s breath. –Rumi” It was after reading that poem that something occurred to me. Maybe, sometimes, if you can’t manage to save the world right away, it’s important to just breathe and enjoy the beauty of the now. I looked up from the book and smiled at my friends taking a moment to enjoy the company and tea.

I guess to close I would say that I believe, sometimes, I just need to relax.