For a long while, life felt very much like being jostled in a tiny boat down a winding, bumpy river. I had no time to think or breathe; I had to focus on just making it around the next bend. Now my little vessel has found itself drifting atop a large, smooth lake. Easy to navigate across, but full of unexplored depth below.

At my last job, I had to literally think on my feet all day. I stood and talked with client after client, sometimes pleasantly, a lot of times doing some sort of crisis management. When there weren’t clients in front of me, I was on the phone or sending emails or talking with my co-workers. On my breaks, I was on my phone, reading articles, checking Facebook, making sure nothing had happened while I wasn’t paying attention. I’d drive home listening to podcasts, get on the phone when I arrived, fall asleep watching TV on my laptop. I would often have stress dreams about work, waking myself up in the middle of the night. I only had a few hours of peace each week, during my yoga classes, but even in those, I would lay in savasana, mind racing to the next item on my to-do list.

And then we moved, and the river took a sharp turn and widened considerably, but there were still some big bumps that shook me up. When I finally made it out of the river and onto the lake, it was all I could do to exhale and lay down, content to just float awhile. I’m not yet working, taking my time to find something I’ll be passionate about. I went off Facebook for a few months, choosing to focus on one-on-one, intentional interactions. I have friends here, but see them infrequently enough that it’s always a treat, never another line-item in my harried schedule. I have time to take naps, to stop and smell all the roses I could ever want. The cloud in my head has cleared enough that I can sit here typing out the things I was too exhausted to think about.

I’m still floating. I needed time to decompress from a life that far too many of us think of as normal. We move quickly, enduring lots of bumps, rarely planning, barely thinking and often allowing circumstances to dictate our lives, rather than the opposite. Our lives can be shallow; it’s hard to go deep when there are just so many things competing for our attention. I believe rest is a good thing, but I think it’s even more important to keep moving and growing and never stagnating. So now it’s time for me to stretch deep and dive out of my little boat, into the deep waters, to see where it is I can go, when I’m the one choosing my course.