Wednesday, May 2, 2012

an ode to my early twenties.

There was a period of my life when I felt light, carefree. Light as a feather. I'd swing and twist and nearly lift my toes right off the ground to fly. I knew there were consequences, but when they came, I dealt with them casually, flippantly, did the minimal amount to make them go away so I could go back to feeling infinitely small and able to be blown every which way by the universe.
This lightness, it wasn't always a good thing. It's doesn't inspire much hope for digging your heels into the ground and holding steady.
Steady. Steady, now.
In my early twenties, geez, nothing felt steady. Not my living situation, my bank account, my relationships, especially my means of expressing my emotions. No, I was light. Too light for steady. A constant state of flux means lots of wonderful, beautiful change. But it also means nothing is certain, stable.
There was nothing sturdy about my existence.
Light is good, though, for a number of reasons. It allows for curiosity, adventure, learning to compromise and improvise. It's recklessness and pushing the boundaries and finding out how it feels when you say nothing when every fiber of your being screams 'Take a stand!"
I have this vision of myself, my early twenties self. I'm expelling and consuming so much energy, I'm feeling like I could be blown miles by one mouthful of breath sent in my direction as a gust. I'm so light that the smallest thing, a smell, a chord, one word can send me reeling to further boundaries in my emotional spectrum than I ever previously knew possible. I'm learning at every turn so much. I'm gobbling it all up so willingly. Why wouldn't I?
But I mean, there's the other side of that too.
I'm spending my last 200 dollars on that pair of jeans that make my butt look the best it's ever looked, because what could possibly be more important than a pair of jeans that fit perfectly? I'll pay my phone bill next month, I swear. And then I'll swear off jeans completely in the next sentence, but it doesn't matter. I'm too light to be reached and dragged down. I'll just float away from it all.
It was a time to abuse my body and my mind, really put it through the test of everything it can take.
There's something to be said about being willing to completely let go of everything around you. Relinquish control. I'm not so good at that now, things weigh down on me, hold me in place,  prevent me from throwing back those five extra shots. Or maybe it's the feeling the next day etched into my memory from being repeated one too many times.
Either way, I'm heavier now, in a sense. And that's fine. Really, it is. I mean, it's just one of those things I think that happens with time. You brush up against things and the friction leaves their residue and pretty soon you're covered in parts and pieces of everything you've ever run into, and the build up makes you heavier. Or something like that.
Isn't it hilarious how people never change? Isn't it heartbreaking to realize that we have to anyway?
When you're young, when you're light, there's still hope that one day you'll collide into one another full speed again. They'll catch up, or you will, or you'll find a way back to each other through darkened alleys and fields of wildflowers. It's easier. It helps you to stay light to think this way. You're never as naive as when you tell yourself that you're going to be forever friends with the person that just drove away from you.
I mean, you've just given them part of your heart. You feel lighter just from it's lack of mass in your chest cavity.
Dearest self. You did light like a champion. It's possible that you did the very best you could have done with what you had. Maybe no one could have done it better in this body, hooked up to this mind. Certainly no one could have done it the exact same way. No one could have possibly ended up in the exact same places and time that you did.
I came out whole.
That time is over.
I may be heavier, but it's not necessarily a bad thing. I feel whole, sturdy, up to the challenge. And sometimes, every now and then, I still feel slivers of light hitting me at the right angle. And I dance and float in them.

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