Fearless

Children fall well. And often. They skin knees and bruise elbows, but generally they come out rather better than an adult would in the same situation. When children fall, they just fall. They don’t resist as much. They don’t fear as much. Their limbs are looser, they break less bones. Children, and drunk people. They don’t know any better. When adults fall, memories of so much previous pain flash through their heads as they stiffen and fall. Break.

I’ve been taking archery lessons. In the past two weeks, I’ve shot a lot of arrows. It’s an amazing feeling. I feel like a badass, when I release that arrow and it shoots into the target with whomp. It wasn’t until my 9th or 10th arrow that I release the bow string and it hit my left arm, stinging and almost immediately bruising. In that moment, I lost some of my badass-ness. My fearlessness. From that moment, every arrow I nocked I paused to overthink where my left elbow was, to wonder if I was going to hit myself again. I told myself I needed to go back to being fearless. Yes, it hurt. But not so much that it should hold me back. It’s a human instinct to avoid pain.

It’s been almost four years since I wrote this post about being afraid to fall. This morning, Lindz and I were talking about my injury, and the children we saw skating a few weeks ago. She said she wished she could still be like that. Fearless.

I wish I could be like that in many aspects of my life, I said.

I feel like with each painful memory, physical or emotional, I close myself off a little more. I find myself wishing for fearlessness. To jump, run, shoot as if it won’t hurt. To live like that, unafraid of pain. Because the pain passes. The bruises fade. Life goes on.

And it would be much more exciting if I were more fearless.

Dating

That awkward moment when you and your cousin/roommate end up dating the same person from an online dating site…

Dear Reader

If you’re still reading this, hello.

I’m trying to get into the habit of writing about how I feel again. Currently it’s rather self-indulgent and melodramatic, I know. But I’m working on something, slowly spinning the more exciting bits of my life into something that someone, someday may read.

I’m using this blog to see what comes of writing, no holds barred, about how I feel.

Stay with me or stop reading, whichever you prefer.

On Loneliness and Being Alone

a·lone
adjective
1.separate, apart, or isolated from others: I want to be alone.
2.to the exclusion of all others or all else: One cannot live by bread alone.
3.unique; unequaled; unexcelled: He is alone among his peers in devotion to duty.
adverb
4.solitarily; solely: She prefers to live alone.
5.only; exclusively.
6. without aid or help: The baby let go of the side of the crib and stood alone.

Alone offers choice. She prefers to live alone. Without aid or help. Stood alone. Alone is powerful, independent. Alone is a choice, a desire. Even unique, unequaled.

I am used to being alone. It’s something I learned - hard, but fast and well. It’s something I excel at - being happy with my own choice in my own time. Without aid or help. Standing alone. There’s no note of fear or regret in my alone. It is cherished, it is desired. Sought.

lone·ly
adjective
1. affected with, characterized by, or causing a depressing feeling of being alone; lonesome.
2.destitute of sympathetic or friendly companionship, intercourse, support, etc.: a lonely exile.
3.lone; solitary; without company; companionless.

There’s a tipping point on the fine line between alone and lonely, and I don’t know how it gets crossed. One minute I “prefer to be alone.” But then, on slow weekends like the one that just marched past, I find it tipped: destitute of sympathetic or friendly companionship, intercourse, support. A lonely exile. And I am lost in the affected, trying to climb back out on fingernails, and with too much to drink.

This space between alone and loneliness will swallow me up for days. But the definition is more than apt: it’s a lonely exile. Alone is my choice. Loneliness is a choice that others make for me.

A vulnerability to love

Love is a rebellious bird,
that nobody can tame,
and you call him quite in vain,
if it suits him not to come.

- Ludovic Halévy

As someone perpetually single, I am known to say that I don’t believe in love. But the truth is that I fall in love everyday. I imagine an entire romance with the ginger barista at the coffee shop. We meet, laugh, love and break each other’s hearts in the four and a half minutes it takes him to make my coffee. It’s not just people. On days off, I wander around the city falling in love with a park, or a building, or graffiti words on a cracked concrete wall. The smell of barbecue in the summer or the crisp day in fall that reminds me of so many firsts. On melancholy rainy days, I fall in love with the miserable girl on the bus. Alone in my house of a hot summer day, I fall in love with the curve of my own hip in the soft light of sunset.

Maybe it’s the obvious vulnerability to love that keeps me so adamantly from falling in love with another person who might feel the same way. Sure, I would love them for that day or those beautiful minutes where our bodies are like flint, but what about tomorrow when I fall in love with the perfect words of a song, or a soft, muting snow fall?