bungee cords are for sissies

So, I’m old.

I mean, I’m not old, but I’m old enough to have been batted around by life a little.

It’s not a bad thing. It’s just a fact.  When you live life, and try to live it well (by which I mean not holed up in your apartment watching Lifetime and trying to live vicariously through a 1980s miniseries by Judith Krantz), you get knocked down a few times.

It’s been good for me in lots of ways.

But it has made me a wee bit wary.

I mean this in the best possible way. I don’t consider myself a pessimist at all–in fact, I really try to see the sunnier side of life on most days, and it drives me crazy when people are perpetually negative. I want to be like “listen. seriously. we’re all so blessed.  move on already!”

But I also have learned to see the greys in life.  I used to be a strictly black and white thinker–something was either this or that and nothing inbetween, something that would drive my mom crazy.  She told me that I would think differently when I was older, and she was right.  While I believe in the black and whites of life–sometimes, things are either right or their wrong, fair or unfair, good or not good–I can also see the nuances when nothing seems to quite fit.

(It may also be the Libra in me, who often sees both sides of a situation equally well.)

Because of being knocked down and around and getting back up and in the fight, I think I’ve developed some life callouses.  Do you know what I mean?

You get punched in the same place enough times, you start to build up a tolerance.  Either that, or you guard a lot more vigilantly to protect that bruised and battered part.

(Wow. Could I use more metaphors? Oy.)

There comes a time, though, doesn’t there, when you have to let your guard down a little bit? When you can only grow so much before you have to get way vulnerable to grow some more?

I don’t like that at all.

I keep things guarded a lot.  It’s a defense mechanism born of experience.

But I don’t want to be that guarded anymore.  I don’t want to be impenetrable and tough. I want to be seen, known, loved for exactly who I am.

Crazy. Flawed. Strong. Beautiful. Smart. Funny.  Amazing.  Kind. Snarky.

And every other contradictory and fascinating element that makes up me.

But I think it’s interesting how much of that is a choice.  How much control we actually have in how vulnerable we are.  Everything, really, is a choice.   You can’t really fall unless you choose to leap.

But standing there, at the edge of that cliff, all safe and secure and protected? It seems like a huge risk.  I could land hard. It could be rough. Or it could be amazing.

I think it’s worth it.  Don’t you?

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