I am the child of a system that relentlessly forces us to study, work, produce, and rush, so I grew up believing that survival involved being busy with learning, doing stuff, and making things, regardless of whether it was necessary or beneficial for me.
I am part of a generation that thinks pausing and resting is associated with being lazy and useless. In those cases where I really needed a break, I blamed myself. When I did rest, I felt left behind. When I did nothing, I felt like I was lost.
For over a year now, I have been learning to pause myself. It’s a change that will destroy everything I have learned so far. It was time to reach a compromise with the voice that has always told me to do everything since I began standing on my own two feet, the voice that instructs me to do my best in everything I choose to do.
I started listening to myself. First, I started to recognize all the voices inside me. Once I could hear what they were saying, I started to understand how they were trapping me.
Every time I paused myself, I reminded myself that everything was fine. I said I could do everything again whenever I wanted to, not because I had to but because I really wanted to, and I assured myself that I was up to it. I repeated this process every time I heard the voices, so I could normalize and pause for a while.
Time passed by, and many things happened throughout this period. I started to feel normal about pausing myself after a seemingly timeless period. I acknowledged that I can exist like that, and it was not so bad to pause and take a rest. I began to experience the joy of pausing as I understood it more. The voices grew quieter, but they were still there.
Then there came a disease that kept me at home. It prevented me from walking outside and didn’t let me do anything. I understood what was happening, that I had become a part of it and that I was pausing now.
And now it’s not just me—we’re all on pause. The state of pausing, which I once saw as a danger to my existence, is now saving my life. Now, the prerequisite to survival is pausing, and it feels so good!
We have learned how connected we are through the force of a virus. The butterfly effect is physical now, and we can see it in the world map of contagion. Today, we need to pause ourselves, because the world needs us humans to stay at home. We all know that our story is not written based on what happens to us but rather how we react to it. Enjoy it as much as you can, because this too shall pass.

Seçil Bozdağ