One pressed against the wall. One hanging off the edge. We curl up together in a twin-size bed. His arm falls asleep lying under me and I lose my pillow to the floor. In the morning I tell him we’ll call this time “the beginning years”. When I lived in a warehouse apartment with no kitchen and he lived out of a suitcase. The days before we went shopping for sheets together. Before we stayed up late sitting on the floor in our kitchen.
On the couch he rests his head on my chest. Listens intently to my heartbeat and taps his fingers in rhythm. I ask him what we’re going to do. What’s next? And he explains to me he’ll do the two-hour drive for however long he needs to. That the discomfort of distance is worth the joy of being in relationship.
In the afternoon we go for coffee, so when night comes again I find myself awake and writing. The low glow of my screen illuminating my finger tips as he sleeps gently next to me. And there is safety in his breathing. In the way his chest lifts and lowers the blanket on top of me. And I find myself not wanting anything else from existence. Just let me be.
At some point, I had to finish my book. Had to put down my pen and wrap the whole thing up. Submit my final drafts and walk away. It was a project that didn’t get to go unfinished. That’s what happens when you set a release date.
My stomach is still in knots every time someone tells me their copy arrived in the mail. I’m sure there are things I could have done better. Positive they’ll find all the flaws in my work and be upset they spent their money on it. But the project is done and I have to learn to move on. Have to let good enough be good enough.
But it’s made me wonder what I could have done if I pushed just a little harder. If I was more willing to take a chance. More okay with letting go of the idea it could be perfect. To risk not making the deadline and publish something I was genuinely scared of. It’s like I ran as fast as I needed to run to win the race, but not as fast as I could have. How many times have I cut myself short just because I knew my previous limit? All the times I did what I had to do to get an A, but never wondered what would happen if I pushed further.
When things turn out to be easier than I thought they would, I don’t try to make them harder. When I succeed easily where other people struggle, I don’t try to find the point where I’d be challenged. Even with this blog, I’ve found the safe spot to sit with being vulnerable, but not completely open. I write about the more comfortable scary things and push the rest into journals.
But I don’t want to do it like that anymore. I want my projects to make me uncomfortable. To terrify me. I want to make running plans, and book ideas, and blog posts, and commitments that I honestly don’t know if I can finish. And then I want to do them anyway.
I am sick of being comfortable. Of living up to it all the time. I’m sick of knowing I can do the things I set out to do. I am sick of not having the guts to find out if my dreams are tougher than me. I am sick of only standing at the bottom of hills I know I can run up.
I’m ready to do something mesmerizing. I’m ready to dazzle. I’m ready to stop toying around with the easy, the doable, the fragments of sparkle. I am ready to be valiant.