Monday, December 14, 2009

I'm Thinking About...

I’m thinking about Monkey Bars. Remember when you were little, and you could only reach the first bar? Then someone showed you, or perhaps you watched some slightly braver kid whip across, that the secret was in letting go. If you held onto that first bar, and refused to let go, you couldn’t reach the next one. But if you accepted that moment of risk and uncertainty, you could fly through the air and land your other hand safely on the next bar. You could cross that great expanse with your own momentum bridging the gap between your outstretched arms. You pushed aside your fears, and arrived at the other side triumphant. Then you got bigger, and suddenly you could comfortably cross without letting go. It was no longer a challenge- it was safe, and easy, and boring. Somewhere along the way, I starting hanging onto things that make me feel secure. To paychecks, and leases, and predictability. I forgot the exhilaration of holding my breath in midair before landing on the next bar.

I saw two small boys crying on the subway platform today. When I was small, I always knew why I was crying. Maybe my sister had taken my doll. Maybe I had skinned my knee. There was always a reason. Nowadays, when I cry I usually don’t know why. It is simply a bubbling up of emotions- of empathy, or fear, or sadness, and I have to step back to understand it. Somewhere along the way, as life got more complicated, and as I got more complicated, I stopped knowing myself as well as I once did. Now I often no longer understand why I cry.

When I’m alone I rarely pause to eat a full meal at one sitting. I flit around the apartment, a bite of food here, opening the mail, another bite, writing that email I forgot to send, one more bite, some food for the cat, another bite, and then the sudden need to clean the bathroom mirror. I have become scattered, with bits of myself flying around in chaotic circles leading nowhere. Before moving to New York, I traveled for several months, living squarely in the moments of each day. I gave myself the space to be still, to let emotions flow freely through the top of my head. The space to pause, so that I could re-enter my life more centered, and more open to the endless possibilities around me.

I’m thinking about what I need to change- where I need to grow, and what leaps of faith I need to make in 2010. I’m thinking about who I am, and who I have been, and who I’d like to be. I’m thinking about all the different pieces of me, and which of them I want to hold onto tightly, and which of them I’m ready to leave behind.

Photo by Roberta Ridolfi on Feaverish Photography

1 comment:

  1. by the way...I like this post. I know what you mean!