Inhale…Exhale…2 min read

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It is difficult to condense my life into a story. Just like everyone else, the story of my life is made up of smaller stories all intertwined to paint a picture. So, allow me to paint a picture for you. I use this quite often when people ask me what my story is…
Picture yourself inside of a snow globe – just you…this is your world. All of the snowflakes are the things that make up your life: labels, experiences, fears, hopes, dreams – everything you are told that you are or think yourself to be…it can feel overwhelming…

That was my world up until the past couple years. I always pictured myself inside this globe, stuck with my labels, my experiences, my fears, my hopes, and my dreams all swirling around me, and I could never get away. I’d see myself in the glass, tears streaming down my face, as I was trying to break free…I never could. I felt hopeless. I thought that all of these things defined me and I let that control my life…

My memories: my mom getting sick, hospitals, paramedics, ambulances, medications…the day my mom died…middle school, high school, bullies, friends, always alone…church, this so called god…love, wedding, marriage, divorce…all these pictures flashing through my head…anxiety, fear, depression, confusion, “I can’t do this anymore”…my labels (some from myself and some from others): shy, timid, introverted, tomboy, ugly, gay, etc…

It was this constant blizzard of what my life had come to be…I had become who people wanted me to be – what the world told me to be…and I couldn’t breathe…
One day, I turned away from the glass and walked into the center of my storm. I sat down, closed my eyes and started focused on my breath- “Inhale…exhale…inhale…exhale…I am a warrior…I am a mountain…I am a tree…I am strong”…(I started doing yoga, in case you missed it, haha)

Slowly all of the things that had surrounded me my whole life began to settle. I opened my eyes to see a reflection in the glass. This reflection was someone I had never met before…there I was…just me. No longer did these labels, these experiences, these fears, these hopes and these dreams define me – no longer did they control me.

Sure my life gets stirred up every now and again, but I try to come back to that breath – “Inhale…exhale…inhale…exhale…”

Story submitted by Michaelyn