I recently threw a few words to the winds of Twitter as some thoughts bubbled up. That’s what Twitter’s for, after all. But there are some deep feelings in there. They deserve a place of their own.
It started on a day that felt good, even though I thought it would be sad. A couple of days before the anniversary of my dad’s death. I could feel the shape of the hours as he passed. The songs, words, emotions. His shuddering breath. So, to be feeling okay seemed surprising. Surprising and good.
But then, grief being grief, I suddenly wasn’t okay.
Not one thing broke me, but I was heartbroken. I wanted time to reverse itself. To feel my slender hand in his. But then where would that leave me? How far back? To a time and place when I all I felt was insecure?
I used to look at older people when I was young and think it must be lovely not to be a tangle of uncertainties and social awkwardnesses. I think it was a mirage. Maybe it was a straight out con. Perhaps I’m just still waiting.
Maybe one day I’ll walk fearlessly among good people and not second guess myself. Am I liked? Respected? Loved? Most days I do okay. More than okay. Sometimes, not so much. I guess it was just one of those days. Maybe I have less of them now, but I also wonder if, as I get older, it only goes backwards. If maybe it will start to get worse. There’s so much potential to grow a brittle fear of your own ancient self.
I want to age disgracefully, at ease with my body and my life. But maybe getting older trips us up differently. You think, who am I to feel so at ease? What happened to that young girl who had so little, who struggled so much? What on earth makes me think I know anything?
But then you think, I am her. I remain her. Every wobble I feel is rooted in her tiny feet. Every day I’m strong, it’s drawn from everything she lived through. We lived through.
Her and me
I remember her. I am her. The brittleness that wants to devour me has one hell of a fight ahead of it. That little girl? She’ll kick you in the knees. And me? I’ll scoop her up, keep her safe. And together we’ll run for the hills.
It’s us, you know. Together in everything we love, and everyone. Together against all our deepest fears.
We laugh at ladybugs, we swing the sword. We love life, and we write these words.