You Used To Think Your Life Was Precious Metals and Rose Petals

I woke from my bed today and wondered what charm (or more fittingly, what curse) is keeping me anchored to it. I'm not this person who sleeps the light away; somewhere, in the recesses of my mind, I ache to go out. I want to go outside, run into flowers, just leave my body for a night.

When I was younger, my favorite thing to do was climb the rock wall in our backyard. The first time I came upon the rock retaining wall in our backyard, I felt like I had found something beautiful, as if these rocks weren't visible to the rest of the world. I spent most of my summer climbing up and down the wall, walking along the top of it, and sitting on the warm black rocks. I spent so much time on them my dad started calling me "little mountain goat".

If I had to think of the happiest moment of my life, it would not be the day someone other than my family told me they loved me. It wasn't the first time a boy I liked put his lips on my skin (Chaz McCoy, who sat down criss-cross-applesauce and kissed my arm in first grade). It wasn't my first best friend, where we promised to be just like sisters and to remain friends for the rest of our lives. It wasn't even the moment with my three best friends, throwing streamers at each other, the static balloons or using paper hearts hanging on strings like whips. It wasn't any of the playgrounds I've ever played on, the festivals I've been to, or any day in Seattle.

The happiest day of my life was the day we went down to Ocean Shores. On the far corner of the beach was a mile-long pile of giant black rocks that led straight out into the ocean, which I, the mountain goat I, inevitably gravitated towards. As I slowly and aimlessly made my way towards that far out edge that faced the ocean, the sudden thought crossed my mind to run the entire length. I turned halfways, thinking I should start at the beginning so I could say I had truly traveled the entire thing. And suddenly, doing it perfectly didn't matter quite as much as doing it at all. I took off running.

It was like moments suspended in flight. As I raced past the burgeoning families, the middle school lovers, the elderly couples and the picnickers, I felt like a parade, not of showy, gaudy youthfulness, but a celebration of living. Every rock I jumped, I congratulated the elderly couples for their ability to stay together throughout the years. I congratulated the middle school lovers for loving, I congratulated the picnickers for taking the day off to enjoy life. I congratulated the burgeoning families for wanting to create a family of their own, to continue a legacy or to create a new one.

For that one day in my life, I was alive precisely because I stopped worrying about living correctly. I didn't care about doing it perfectly, I didn't care if I fell down and possibly broke my leg, if I might slip and fall into the ocean.

I didn't reach the end of the rock wall. My family called me from the beach and we climbed back into the car, my legs sore and shaky from the hour I had spent jumping from one rock to the next. As we drove away, I vowed to come back and finish climbing that entire rock wall. Which never happened.

If I went back now, it wouldn't be the same. I'd constantly fear the dangers of broken bones, floating out to sea, hitting my head and drowning in a shallow puddle. I wouldn't be able to smile at the elderly couples, I wouldn't feel like a celebration of living.

I can't help but gravitate towards my bed. The million decisions of how to live is too much. I want to do the right thing, I want to do something for myself. I don't want to add more mistakes onto the horrible ones I've already made. So I climb into my bed, shut my eyes and will myself into unconsciousness. I'd rather spend my time with nightmares than with my responsibilities.

I want to remember how to live. I want to remember how to do something for the sake of doing it all, to remember the satisfaction at having tried at something seemingly impossible, and not bear the regret of failing, of mistakes, of worries. I want to remember how to be happy.


Anonymous said...

haha we would have gotten along well together as kids, the last time I ran over rocks like that was when I went camping with Alex and his family about 4 or 5 years ago, that was also the same day that I almost fell off of a 100 foot cliff and below it was roughly 3 feet of water and jagged rocks. I actually did fall off of that cliff but my reflexes saved me and I grabbed the root of a tree, technically the tree saved me?

I would not walk so carelessly around cliffs anymore for that day probably caused a lot of my fear of heights.

but I would still readily and happily run as fast as I could over the rocks to the end.

Fear for life is important but it shouldn't totally rule your life, find creative ways to stretch your wings that are still within responsible limits (i.e I don't want you to die and I don't want your mom to kill you)

I think that you're still very alive but caged up and waiting to be free.
Even when you get out of that cage I know that you will still bear the heavy chains cast to your ankles, chains that cause you to feel sad and tired and helpless.

You're too damn cool and awesome to be laying in bed all day. Life is short and it feels like it goes by faster and faster every year.
Live it up in your own way.

I adore you

Anonymous said...

i second nates comment and

yeah i feel the same way sometimes. like right now. its 4:24 in the morning and I have a story and shit ton of HW due in 12 hours, and i'm lonely and afraid of failure, so much that i'm afraid to do my homework.

i would rather sleep and lay here and evaporate than do my courseload. i have very little mental strength left after all that's happened to me lately. i think i've become a weak person.

i wish you were here
i want to talk to you

- Jess