In order to be free, we must learn how to let go. Release the hurt. Release the fear. Refuse to entertain your old pain. The energy it takes to hang onto the past is holding you back from a new life. What is it you would let go of today?
-Mary Manin Morrissey-
Months ago, I’m sitting in a coffee shop, typing away, blaring Bon Iver and enjoying a pour over.
Minding my own business.
For a screen break, I glance up and catch the eyes of a plaid shirted, long haired boy two tables away.
He keeps looking, inviting me to smile.
But I awkwardly revert my eyes back to the word document and begin to sweat. A sudden need to escape helps me rise and flee to the restroom.
Clutching the sink, stalling, sprinkling bits of cold latte into the basin, watching it stain brown like old blood. My armpits are sweating and my anxiety level heightens beyond coping ability.
Why is it so hard for me to go talk to him? I don’t even know his name but I want my reason for approaching him to be defendable before judge judy. I need a real excuse, like, can I use the plug behind your chair?
Otherwise he might know i’m doing it because he’s cute, and I want to flirt a little, and figure out what he’s like a little better.
But I am cemented to the tiled floor, pep-talking my limbs to shake it out and be the waitress Krisi who has dinner guests rolling and tipping big. Or maybe the business Krisi who cooly exchanges cards and intellectual quips.
Just be the Krisi you know people want. Not the one criticized for high-waters and loud laughter.
The problem is it is not this one little scenario holding me back, if so, if I had no history with being called a fool, a yapper, annoying, a whiner, clingy, a boy crazy tweenager, then maybe not wanting to approach this boy would seem a little wacky.
But maybe it seems wacky no matter what. Because really, I can’t pinpoint the reason why I am so afraid, I feel foolish for my paralysis. But it still exists.
I am told that I matter, and whatever the results of a casual conversation with him, I am still worthy and beautiful. Even if he thinks I wasted his time, I am still valuable.
I live afraid. I live under the chains of twenty-four years of critiques.
But this is no ones fault. I choose to hold on. To not let go.
[Photo: Capture Queen ™, Creative Commons]