This weekend I read through my SST journals from my semester in Perú last year. I found an entry from exactly a year ago, September 28.My journal reads: “Last night after dinner I sat at the table and talked with my mom for a couple hours. I didn’t do the readings because it was so much work to try and get upstairs just to get my book to bring it back downstairs and read with my sisters. We had a great conversation that I would have missed out on if I didn’t have a cast on my leg right now.”
We had just spent a weekend in a rural Caral and while we were there I sprained my ankle, was taken to the hospital, given a plaster cast but no crutches and returned to Lima unable to keep up with anyone.
I couldn’t get on my bus in the morning to get to school and I could barely make it up and down the spiral staircase at home to go from the bedroom to the kitchen.
I was slow. So, so slow, and I remember hating that. But what stands out to me most, especially when I re-read my journals from around that time, is what having to slow down ended up offering me in return.
I connected more with my family because of it. I slowed down on the streets and noticed more of my surroundings. I paid more attention to myself, how my own body was feeling.
This issue features a special section on page 3 from the Comm & Society class, a variety of reflections from their day-long retreat.
They were forced to slow down and give intentional thought to what roles screens and technology play in their day-to-day lives, and how they as individuals respond and feel in technology’s absense.
The featured section, as well as my journal from exactly a year ago, are good reminders that it’s okay to slow down, even for just a day.
It’s terrifying—what will we miss out on if we stop trying to keep up? How will our lives be changed if we make time for ourselves, for connections with others?
My guess is we’ll get back more than we give up. It’s usually worth it.