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Teen Breathe Magazine – Issue 41

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In this issue: No regrets • Crowded out • Is this the real life? • News blues • It’s for the best • A breath of fresh air • Nothing lasts forever • Sound it out • Crafting the future

Change is strange. When a situation’s difficult or a problem seems impossible to solve, it can feel like things will stay that way forever. But when you’re comfortably used to the way things are, newness or a shift to something different can be scary. For many people, even the idea of change is threatening.

The Japanese concept of wabi-sabi offers a new way to view this contradiction. It teaches that nothing lasts forever, there’s no such thing as perfect and that part
of life’s beauty is its impermanence.

This might sound a bit detached from the concerns of daily life, but keeping it in mind can be comforting in all sorts of situations. If you get stuck in your head, comparing yourself to others or playing over past mistakes, for example, you might recall its message that perfection is an illusion.

If you get lost in a group-text clash over who said what to who, or feel overwhelmed by what you’ve seen on the news, it’s a way of remembering that troubles will eventually pass.

And for those moments when you want time to stand still, if you’re facing uncertainty or an upheaval like starting a new school, there’s reassurance in knowing that you’re not alone in making the transition – change is part of being alive.

The ancient Japanese philosophers saw beauty in fading flowers, twisted tree trunks and even worn and broken pottery. So whether you’re feeling trapped in the moment or anxious about the future, take a deep breath and remember that everyone and everything is constantly changing, and that’s where the wonder lies.

Cover Illustration by Ceyda Alasar

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