It happened again.
It was so subtle that I hardly even realised it.
After a yoga class, I rolled up my mat back—expecting to feel relaxed and calm-minded, like I usually do. But instead, I felt a little something in my chest. A squeezing feeling. I felt little. Fragile. Sad perhaps.
I walked out of the studio and thanked my teacher for the class—after all, she’s the one who puts the puzzles together week after week, after week. She’s a repairer with bright yellow nail polish and wild, curly hair.
I didn’t rush to get dressed and make my way to the grocery store next door like I would normally do. Instead, I sat down on a soft, white cushion in the lounge area.
I poured myself a cup of tea.
And I sat there, feeling.
Not knowing which direction to go—again.
The funny thing about life is that it doesn’t get easier when you grow up. That’s how I imagined it though, 10 or 15 years ago. That adulthood would be like a straight line going up: to dream jobs, to life partners, to spacious homes, to all the countries I ever wanted to visit. I thought being a grown-up would mean clarity.
I recently turned 30 and yes, I’m much more comfortable in with my own skin. I know what kind of foods are healthy for me to eat, what kind of clothes make me feel great about my flaws, and that drinking on an empty stomach is a terrible idea.
But as I sat there in the yoga studio, it came clearly to me: I was still lost.
I was still the same little girl inside, the one who ran after the butterflies barefoot at the age of five and stared at herself in the mirror in early puberty thinking, “What’s the purpose of this all?”
And I still don’t know.
Sometimes I get glimpses—glimpses of knowing. Glimpses of feeling good, loved, knowing I’m on the right path.
And some days—I have no idea.
But here’s what I also realized: In those fragile moments, we can lean on the unknown and do what we grown-ups do best: say how we really, honestly feel.
And if that is feeling pain, that’s okay.
Feel it, pass it. It’s okay. And that’s perhaps the distinction of the younger me: she would not have been at ease with the pain.
She would not have been nice to herself. Not like the person today.
Sit with the unknown.
Thank it for being your teacher. And then let it go, let yourself grow—again.
Author: Sara Kärpänen
Image: Ariel Lustre / Unsplash