I need to breathe.
Breathe in the calmness and breathe out the panic.
Breathe in the peace and breathe out the stress.
I notice it every day.
The weight on my chest that keeps me
From inhaling deeply,
That keeps me from filling my lungs
With all life has to offer,
And keeps me from laughing
With the force of true joy.
I have to remind myself, stop and breathe.
Breathe in the patience and breathe out the tension.
Breathe in the moment and breathe out the not-yets.
I have so many.
So many things I want to achieve,
To see, to taste, to learn, and feel.
So many places I want to go
That I haven’t yet,
That I worry I never will.
I have to tell myself, stop and breathe.
Breathe in the possible and breathe out the doubt.
Breathe in the today and breathe out the what-ifs.
It’s a cycle.
A constant loop of questions in my mind
Asking if I’m living life to its fullest,
If I’m wasting my time on my dreams,
If I’m being too lazy,
If I’m being as good as her.
I have to remind myself, she has trouble breathing too.
She bears the same stress,
Asks the same questions as all the rest of us.
She seeks the same adventure
In hopes of finding the same happiness.
She breathes through tears of pain and aches of heartbreak.
She breathes in bitter tastes and salty words.
She breathes the same air as me.
But that does not mean I have to be her.
I can breathe slower,
Can find my own pace.
I can breathe rougher, and harder, and with less grace.
I can breathe in whatever way fills my lungs with the most air.
I just need to breathe.