Once upon a time…
I used to be brave. It seems strange to think of now, but there was a time in my life where I had adventures worthy of story-telling. I have diaries full of adventures shared with best friends, some that would make you laugh, make you gasp, even make you blush. But more than that, there was a time in my life where I didn’t wake up scared of what the day held. But now… What it really feels like is that I’ve lost my spark. I used to be a bubbly girl, a fearless girl, someone who didn’t give up when things got tough or scary. Instead, I’d close my eyes, count to tell, and jump in with both feet. Sometimes, of course, I regretted it. But at the same time I knew that the people who loved me would still love me in the end.
And I guess I’m writing this, because I feel like if I keep letting myself slip, someday that girl might fade away completely. The truth is, besides working, I don’t do much. Even when I’m with Andrew, I curl up on the couch, hiding from the outside world. Sometimes I even forget what it feels like to go on an adventure, to do something scary, or naughty or silly. I’m so caught up in worrying about the what-ifs of a situation that I never even give myself a chance to experience the good parts. Take, for example, my tattoo. I’ve been dreaming about getting an infinity symbol tattooed on my wrist since I was seventeen. It’s the reason I gave the main character an infinity symbol on her wrist. And yet, at 23–almost six years later–my wrist is still bare, and I am still dreaming about that tattoo. Why haven’t I done it yet? Because I’m afraid. Not of growing up and not liking it (it has personal meaning, so I know I would never regret it) and not of it hurting (that’s a given, but not a big deal) but just of the idea of it. Of change. Of this huge step. So scared that it remains on my lips, something I will do someday. And that’s how it always is: someday. Someday I’ll get a tattoo. Someday I’ll get my driver’s license. Someday I’ll move out. Someday I’ll be brave.
But I’m tired of someday. And I’m tired of being afraid.
It’s a brand new year, and a brand new century, and I don’t want to be sitting here ten years from now with a list of regrets. I’ve spent a long time being scared, and hiding. But no more. I know this is much easier said that done, and that when you spent a long time living life in the darkness, it’s hard to find the light again, but the truth is I don’t want to hide anymore. Instead of remembering fondly the girl I once was, I want to find her again. I want to walk the streets at 3am for the hell of it, exploring how different the world looks at night. I want to go on a spur of the moment road trip to another cities, without thinking of the consequences. I want to sleep under the stars. I want to get my tattoo.
There is so much of this world that I’ve never seen. And, if I stay hidden in my bedroom, I never will see. I’ll just let life pass me by, let the world go on living, having new adventures while I live in my past. That’s not what I want, and dammit it’s not what I’m going to let happen. I’m a writer, and the only way I’ll ever have anything (worth reading) to write about is if I see the world, and live a little. It won’t all happen right away (slipping away didn’t happen right away, either) but I think if I take little steps, shake myself out of my comfort zone, soon enough I will once again be closer to that girl I know I really am. Outgoing, ready for anything, confident in who I am.
And brave. Don’t forget brave.