Sitting at my usual spot at Jo’s, I am (only slightly unabashedly) eavesdropping on my neighboring tables to compile a list of the gems I typically hear while writing on Sundays. However, today is oddly quiet. While the air feels perfect, the sky warns of an impending rainy day. Jesus sandals are popular today. A man and his baby are proving more popular among the ladies than a man and his puppy. Entrepreneurs, Rent-a-Baby might be an excellent idea for a new dating service. Just FYI. The dominating conversation permeating the airspace is about sports. Le bore. I have no clue which sport these two dudes are talking about. They are speaking a foreign language. Today is not feeling like an eavesdropping list day.
The tree just outside of my backyard was acting like a jerk last night. She was creaking so loudly against the fence post that she was keeping me awake. I must have done something to piss her off.
I surrendered to the noise and settled for veiling the sound with a movie. ”Tiny Furniture” was the instant Netflix pick of the night. The two things that I was left thinking about: 1. The last lines of the movie were a perfect example of a good narrative conclusion without slapping the viewer in the face with it. ”Do you hear that sound?” ”A little bit. I think it’s the alarm clock.” ”Do you think you could move it?” ”Yeah. Hold on a sec… I put it away.” ”I can still hear it.” ”Yeah, but only a little bit, right?” 2. Dunham is real. For half of the movie, she walks around without pants (which I adore her for) and has sex with a man in the most depressing place imaginable. A pipe in the street. She fails at nearly everything she does, but she deserves happiness, and I rooted for her.
I want what she’s got. Not the pipe. But the unrelenting search for happiness, taking her failures in stride. She made failure look not quite so bad. Pant-less and vulnerable and she didn’t care.
The other night, I had one of those waking dreams. Petrified it really happened, it took me a while to get a grip on the reality of my surroundings. I dreamed I had stepped outside into my backyard without my clothes. The fence lay flat on the ground. The tree in my yard had finally gotten its way and took down the fence, leaving me exposed, completely vulnerable, to my neighbors.
Fearing rejection, in nearly every risk-taking venture there is to take in life, I have slowly but surely convinced myself to play it safe in my thirties. That’s the one thing I want to take back from my twenties. Gut-wrenching nerves or not, I pushed myself to the limit. Fearless?…. perhaps not, but there was a clear difference between what made me anxious in a bad way and anxious in a good way, and I actively sought after the good kind. In the same good-kind-of-anxious vein… I’m taking my failure-or-not-I’m-going-for-it-ventures back. In a refusal to lose my romantic ideals entirely to intellect, the following is a list of the risks I am willing to take:
- I want to write. For a living. I’ve grown tired of refusing to say this “aloud” for fear that people will scoff at my confession, considering the nearly impossible odds that this will happen. Though if I never try, I would never forgive myself.
- So what if I just finished my masters in the field of education–a field I may soon distance myself from? If there is anything I’ve learned from my education, it is that I know exactly what I want for my life. Exactly.
- Travel. My summers are free, and nearly every summer I swear it will be the first that I venture out. I want to see as much as possible in this lifetime, and there is no better time to start than now.
- See an audience again. The dark stage looking out into the blinding lights and faceless oblivion once sent dizzying adrenaline through me.
- Allow myself to get “sweet on” someone else without the fear of vulnerability. I want to surrender myself to just feeling what comes naturally. Someone is relentlessly taking over my brain space in a way I didn’t see coming. But I’m welcoming it in every way, until, perhaps, that fence in my backyard crashes to the ground.