Twenty three, you are a trip.
But now and for the rest of my life, I want to say that when I was 23 I went off the deep end. And survived.
Like, 6 weeks ago I actually, literally, voluntarily went over a waterfall and absolutely broke myself on a rock after a 20 foot free-fall. As I type this, I'm in that whole ice-and-elevate situation after driving 4,000 miles over the past two weeks and sinking down into the soggy Everglades and letting myself swell up like an aggravated elephant leg; prolonging and making impossible that healing process that my body wants so very badly.
What a fucking beautiful metaphor.
Because what a process it's been, it is. This has been the year of burnout and medication and therapy; of trauma, stress, dizziness, nausea, chaos, growth disguised as stagnation, forgetting to breathe, and loving everybody in the loudest, most out of control way that I never thought possible.
Loving. Loudest love for everybody else, so that I don't have to remember that I don't feel entitled to love. Not yet.
And I'm freaking out because I can't find my red Sharpie that I use to trace the roads on which I've driven, caffeine and taurine racing through my veins and Chicago, Atlanta by day and Miami by night. I want to see that progress. I want to color in those lines myself, etching them onto my map and then my heart. I want to dream some more, of driving the entirety of US Route 1 and finishing that last bit of I-75 and of my ninth and tenth tattoos. I hate driving through construction as much as anybody, but I owe my life to its completion. Forever indebted to Dwight D. Eisenhower. Roads, like rushing rivers, taking me somewhere, anywhere, anytime.
And I'm also freaking out because before I'm done being 23, I'll do this whole Soulfire Calendar thing. Freaking out seems appropriate, as the photo shoot will be held almost exactly over my tenth assaultiversary. It seemed easy enough when I decided to do it, because it'll be so good for me; but I forgot about a lot of things. Things like the fact that although we want the photo to be fiery and fierce like we are, nobody in the universe can fit my awkward weirdo body into a dress that isn't made out of t-shirt material. And this is way too important of a picture to cut corners with that polyester blend bullshit, seriously. Nothing feels right, yet. It'll come to me. It'll come to me. It'll come.
First, I needed to realize a couple of things about myself. Besides the fact that I am frightened, and I am broken, and often aloof, and frequently in an inexplicable kind of pain; I needed to realize that I have to stop comparing my healing process to everybody else's healing processes. "Everyone else rocks at healing except for me," cries broken Becca on a sad, sad night. But I don't know that. I can't know that.
The only things that I know are the things that my heart longs for, and even if they're things that make no sense, my heart wants what she wants. She wants the relationships that she's found. She wants comfort after every strained pulse; beat, beat, beat, breathe. She wants a mother's arms and a lover's embrace. She's a little behind. She's in pieces.
But she recognizes those long-lost pieces of herself everywhere that I go, and I always want to recognize that fact. It's one of the things that I love so much about this difficult journey. When I find a piece of my heart waiting for me inside of somebody else, somebody beautiful...I can't stop the turbulent vortex of entangled, entwined, intimate connection that follows. It's deep, deeper than I can comprehend. So deep that I often feel like I need to quench it, hold it back, reroute myself, stop myself before I explode all over everything.
But my heart wants that connection. She wants to feel together, like she belongs, like she's allowed to be loved.
So from now on, I'll let her. Let's see where this goes; let's see what radiant things happen.