Monday, October 22, 2018

Let It Linger

One thing I'd like to work on during my gap year is the art of lingering. This was part of The Busy Boycott Challenge, and I'm slowly getting better at it, but I used to be terrible. Being a hardcore planner, I would rush from one thing to the next, failing to enjoy the moment, because I was overly preoccupied with what happens next. I was very future focussed, and that prevented me from being fully present.

In the past month or so, I've really learned to slow down. I don't sweat the small stuff as much. I take my time, I look around, I talk to people. I am much more present now. Of course, this is a function of having more time, but I think it would have been possible for me to linger even when I was working nine-to-five. Perhaps if I worked at a job that fulfilled me. Perhaps if I wasn't stressed all the time. Perhaps if I hadn't scheduled myself so stringently. Perhaps if I didn't have so many things on my list. I rushed to experience everything, and may have glossed over some key moments as a result.

I've always wanted to linger. I often tell hubby that I wish we had time in Puerto Vallarta to relax on that secluded beach we found during our hike, or I wish we had time in London to sit and watch the parkour performance, or I wish we had time in New York to stuff our bellies with food at the Chelsea Market. The list goes on. I've never thought much about lingering in our home town, but I should, and I will.

Today was a day with almost nothing on the agenda. I took a walk in the afternoon with the intention of picking up a few things, and I lingered. I stumbled upon the World Press Photo Exhibition 2018 at Brookfield Place, and rather than passing by and heading straight for my destination, I stopped. Or rather, I passed by, paused, contemplated, and doubled back--some habits are hard to break. I ended up spending around 20 minutes looking at the photographs, reading the descriptions, and thinking about the world outside my little bubble.

In a crowd of business people, tourists, and students, I felt myself become completely absorbed into the exhibit. Some of the stories and photographs presented were disconcerting, even more so when I took the time to ruminate on them. I've seen many powerful and moving photo exhibits in the past, but my mind was usually at least partly somewhere else. This is one of the first times I've felt so present at an exhibit, and it was a humbling experience.

The World Press Photo Exhibition 2018 at Brookfield Place will be on until 6pm tomorrow (Tue Oct 23).

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