Not sure when it happened, but I’m not afraid anymore. Not of people, opinions, backlash or well, anything “people-y”.

I wonder if that’s a good thing.

People used to scare the crap out of me. But somewhere in the last several years, bravely living an untethered life became more important than my life as seen through the eyes of casual critics, and the everyday passersby. A cage door swung open, and though it took me a while to see it wasn’t an illusion, I stepped out on the ledge. Took even longer to stretch out my wings, but somewhere, an unpinpointable line was crossed in my mind and I leapt out and caught the wind of authenticity and freedom.

I’d sure love to be able to document the process. Create a timeline to follow, so others who struggle with that type of slavery could read along and be free too. My journals and blog posts are my only real manuscript of change along the course. It’s all I’ve got, but it’s something. I’m grateful because I tend to forget stuff.

Do you journal? Do you look back at writings from say, 5 years ago and cringe?  Do you look back with awe and think, wow, I’ve grown? Or do you look back and see nothing has changed at all?

Maybe “nothing has changed at all” is something to be proud of. You’ve stood firm, and maybe that’s your goal. A literal standing in one place. Unwavering. Unmoving. Everything you were ever meant to know, you know. Nothing and nobody can add any value to this safe, firm place.

I just don’t see life that way anymore. It doesn’t mean I see it as wrong either, but for me life has become more like a series of moving sidewalks than a straight shot elevator, and if I’m not moving forward, then I’m moving backward.

I don’t get to stand still. To stop learning. To stop growing. To stop trying. To stop failing. To stop succeeding. To stop listening. To stop communicating with those who don’t think like me in this moment of time. To stop believing that everyone has something to teach me. I don’t get to do that anymore. I don’t want to do that anymore.

I get to rest a lot more than I used to, because I’m not managing other people’s perceptions, and I get to enjoy life more because nobody is “out to destroy me”, but I don’t get to stop the pursuit of truth and justice and connection and kinship. Regardless of whether I think I’m right or wrong, or I think you’re right or wrong. Five years from now, I’m going to look back on today and have a whole new perspective.

I wonder what it will be. I hope whatever way it goes, it has the running threads of joy and freedom. The same as I feel today.

What will yours be?

Love, Val

This is my life, it is my one time to be me. I want to experience every good thing. – Maya Angelou

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