...for a different kind of girl

silent surburban girl releasing her voice, not yet knowing what all she wants to say about her life and the things that make it spin. do you have to be 18 to be here? you'll know when i know.

Sunday, November 26, 2006

'i wasn't jumping, for me it was a fall...'

in the middle of the night, i'm chatting online with an ex about the status of our present day relationships. we do this, more than a decade away from the other, for two reasons, really. first, to affirm for each other that we've created full lives apart from the other and second, to avoid admitting we still have lingering feelings that can still slip through in our words. whereas we only talked in random thoughts in our years together, now we dissect our respective lives and, yes, on more than three occasions, we paint pretty pictures for the other about our present worlds.

the pretty pictures part is key.

around 2 a.m., the conversation switched from our conjoined past ("i remember you always wanted the lights out," he taunted. "that's just until i got good at it, baby. then i wanted you to see everything i could do," i teased back) to our present.

"so how are things?" he asked. "really..."

whether it was the hour and the fuzz filling my brain, because i knew this man on such an intimate level, or simply (ok, not simply) a combination of those two ingredients, i spilled out my frustrations and concerns about my life to him. communciation issues. connection issues. a feast of worries, really.

before you fault me for telling someone who i know probably shouldn't have this much information about my present day existence, do know my husband is as up to speed on things. we revolve around each other nicely. routinely. somewhat lacking. but nicely, for sure.

after many queries and responses sent back and forth, dissecting and reattachements, he offered me this:

"sometimes you simply have to take a leap of faith."

were he in front of me at the time he offered that thought, i'd have laughed in his face at the irony. a man who failed to step off the edge with me years ago was telling me it was time for me to forego dipping my toes in and take a gigantic belly-flopping dive into the unknown.

"interesting advice coming from a man who still lives near the home he grew up in, won't tell his girlfriend he loves her and is scared of being a father yet talks with such longing about wanting a child," i countered, questioning his credentials to council such a thing.

"that's just it...you don't see that?" he replied. "fear of failing or of not being loved back keeps us from just letting go and trying something. we only want the rewards brought about by a change if we can receive them with no effort."

if you explore 'leap of faith' online, you'll be bombarded with topics, most of which revolve purely around taking risks in business or finding peace in whatever deity you wish to worship. there are no instructions on stepping out and letting go, on how to cast all your wishes out there for whatever reward is meant to be. it seems sometimes rather cliche to say you're taking a leap of faith when that phrase can be applied to anything ranging from merging multi-billion dollar companies to sampling a brussel sprout to see if you like it.

the more he and i talked, the more we agreed we were both guilty of not bending our knees, offering up some kind of prayer and taking that bounding leap into the unknown in our respective lives ("look how long it took me to even tell you i loved you, even though i knew that was hardly a risk," he said). that's what i think taking a leap of faith truly is. something unknown and very risky. it's being willing to make a change from the 'comfortable familiar,' even if we dislike the comfortable. have i ever taken any leaps? honestly? i don't know. i can't seem to think of a time when i felt i was standing on the edge of something major, all the while sucking in air just to survive the idea as i questioned myself and tried to talk myself into it.

and i can see that as both good and bad, really. ok, maybe it's complacent or lacking in the ability to take that first step toward change.

but for now, i suppose, until i can answer all the questions that must be answered the next time i'm asked how things are...really, you'll most likely find me a bit toward the back, toes quite dry.

11 Comments:

Blogger The Savage said...

If worse comes to worse.. oh ye of the kick ass rack.. I'm still single....

Sunday, November 26, 2006 4:18:00 PM  
Blogger The Savage said...

Woohoo!!! I'm first!!!

Sunday, November 26, 2006 4:18:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

What I wouldn't pay to be able to see just six months into the future after said leap. Plugging my nose and getting ready to do a full on cannon ball.

Sunday, November 26, 2006 4:25:00 PM  
Blogger Edtime Stories said...

What is the leap of faith in? A better place? If so the faith is in what may be, not what is.

Sunday, November 26, 2006 5:54:00 PM  
Blogger Nanette said...

Fear of failure...that pretty much sums up my life. Perhaps I should join you all for a dip.

Monday, November 27, 2006 1:09:00 AM  
Blogger Biscuit said...

My friends and I have a term for that leap of faith. We call it "saying f-you to the cliff." As in, I jumped off of the cliff because it scared me to do it, and that just really pissed me off!

I've faced down a few cliffs lately, and it's been so empowering. C'mon...do it.

Monday, November 27, 2006 6:10:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Fear of failure I am definitely in that club with Nanette.

Monday, November 27, 2006 10:56:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"...and who, at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who know neither victory nor defeat."

Words to live by.

Monday, November 27, 2006 12:55:00 PM  
Blogger Kelly said...

Who isn't afraid of failure? It's a matter of wanting what the leap can bring more than you fear the change. I think the only leap of faith, so to speak, I've ever done was having children -- the idea terrified me, but I did it anyway, mostly because he really wanted to. And it's working out, so far.

Monday, November 27, 2006 12:57:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

One of the most insightful peices I've ever read was years ago in one of those Sunday magazines, under the title, 'The Education of Peter Pan'.

This guy's long-term girlfriend had broken up with him after many years because he wouldn't get off the pot and marry her, and he was dealing with the shattered pieces of his life in the aftermath.

And the core of the article was just that - he needed to just say, "the hell with my fears" and commit himself to the woman he loved. For better or worse.

Very emotionally raw; and very very insightful. . .

Monday, November 27, 2006 1:31:00 PM  
Blogger for a different kind of girl said...

as irony would have it, today's horoscope, perused over morning cereal and always taken with a grain of salt depending on if it's good or bad for me, suggested (without paraphrasing) that today was the day "you must take a dive."

huh...

tomorrow's will likely say "you just sat there, didn't you?"

true, it is the desire for what you're leaping for that should be the most forward thought in your head during times of great change. never been the easiest thing for me as i ponder who and what will be left in my wake.

Monday, November 27, 2006 11:39:00 PM  

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