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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]

6 comments on “Paralysis

  1. I bet he’s still there, waiting, wishing you would talk to him. Poor kid. Now he probably thinks all the pretty girls he smiles at will run to the bathroom to avoid him (or throw up). Better go back and talk to him. Save him from his distress.

  2. Krisi, this is a beautiful, brave post. My stomach sank when I read the part about the bathroom and I could feel the cold porcelain holding me upright. I’ve been paralyzed too. So many times, by so many things. And the words, the casual remarks, the passive aggressive back-handed compliment, the well-meaning people who point out your flaws. Like Pigpen with the cloud of dirt swirling above his head like a tarnished halo, these words hover over us as well. I’m learning late in life how to claim truth and root it in my heart, how to battle the enemy with confidence and conviction.
    Insecurity is a hard master and hard to escape without some struggle and existential violence;) Next time, maybe make yourself stay an extra minute before running to the bathroom. Baby steps.

    1. Thank you for sharing Tammy, and I love your PigPen reference. I will have to practice smiling back more.

      As scary as it is to face the lies and peal them away, I see it as God working on me. I feel as though I am finally in a place to accept His truth. It feels like a long drink of cold lemonade. 🙂

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