My roommates yell at me if I go outside without shoes on. There’s always a reason. Someone had a house party last night and smashed beer bottles now litter the front lawn. There’s rocks and twigs and ice and — yeah, I know.
The world is full of patches of black ice. We can’t see them, but then we’re spinning and we wonder how we could’ve been so oblivious in the first place. Because we cannot know what’s in front of us. Only that right now, we’re passionate about this one thing.
It’s not that I want to step on a shard of glass. Nobody does. But I want to be trusted. I want to walk barefoot.
Simple enough, right?
We trust five-year-olds to spin around blindfolded and not knock into the piñata or smack someone in the head with the Louisville slugger. So why can’t we trust a 21-year-old to walk into the street without shoes on?
A large part of me worries I won’t fit into the world. Because I would rather spend my Easter Sunday in a room with no air conditioning for 13 hours, coming home at 10 p.m. with dirty black feet and tired eyes. Because I would rather skip winter altogether and sit in an Adirondack chair, reading a novel with the ocean foam kissing my toes.
“Some days I want to live alone on the beach with a pad of paper and a pen,” I wrote three years ago. “I’d find the perfect spot, right where high tide hits. Not too far from the water so I could still hear it. And I’d write forever. There’s a lifetime of things to talk about.”
I went on.
“But then I have days like today when I just want 3 kids, maybe 4, and that chaotic life where I’m driving all over creation. Something where I wouldn’t have any time to think about what’s going on in my life, just that it’s happening,” I wrote. “I think that’s what would keep me happy.”
I won’t fit in. I’ll run in circles, undecided between wanting it all and none of it. I lose my roommates’ trust and I’ll accidentally step into the street without looking both ways. I can’t help but wondering if my transparency has worked in my favor.
No one should make you question yourself. No one should make you worry that you don’t have it figured it. Because nobody else does.
We’re all stepping into oncoming traffic, just in different ways. The black ice sneaks up on even the most cautious driver. There are an infinite number of moving pieces in the puzzle of the world, and we think we know the outline and where the one piece goes, so we try to shove it in. But it’s wrong. All wrong.
And so I’ll walk through the cool grass in the summer heat without shoes on. I’ll let the pavement blacken and callous the soles of my feet. Let the sun kiss the back of my neck. And time will wind down. Nothing bad will happen.
Trust yourself. Trust to know what you love and what you want and trust that nobody in this world ever really knows who they are or where they’re headed. All they really know, right now, is that they want to be where they are. That’s all we can know, isn’t it?
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