Permission To Start Again 

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The brownstones in Brooklyn feel different than the ones in New York. The streets they live on are a bit quieter, a lot more anchored. I walk to and from the train with a deep understanding that the only constant in my life lately has been that shifts are to be expected. 

My eyes sting, from allergies, from tears, but I keep walking. 

Have you ever wondered why there’s a point where being independent, financially or in any other regard, somehow becomes synonymous with being perceived as being seemingly invincible? My threshold for pain is high, everything from how I’m navigating a hurt heart to my day old tattoo prove this. But, I still bleed. The blood is still red. The band-aid that goes on any single cut is the same that’s found in medicine cabinets across the world. For all the ways that I handle my pain differently, it still requires the same degree of care as anyone else’s. I still need to be taken care of, to be protected. 

In some cases, my hurt requires even more fragile labels and handle with care warnings because I hide it too well. 

I’m likely to unload a litany of age old jokes or sweet compliments, all to divert eyes from the open wounds. I would smile instead of cry when life comes at me from all sides because there’s no pill that would make my pain go away, so sometimes I don’t even try. It sits present and while I know how to make friends of hurt and fear, how to pull positives out of the painful lessons, it’s still all a heavy weight to sit with. 

I still bleed. Just like any other person.

The fear still scares me. I’m brave and I keep walking, but do you know how badly I want to skip the hard part and get to the good? How presently I would love someone to stand between me and the army that’s coming at me, just so that I don’t have to keep standing up to it alone?

I walk through Brooklyn and instead of trying to change the current circumstances of my life, I choose to just start again. As frequently as needed. 

For every time that I’m scared to trust, I’m just going to reach out and try. 

For every moment that finds me questioning, I’m going to ask the question to someone other than myself. 

For the second I’m in, the one that makes me wonder why I still love, I’m going to answer, “because it’s not always this hard, most days it’s as easy as creating a Google calendar event.” 

Navigating fear comes with having to untangle all the tricks our mind plays on us because if we sit in the fear we’ll more likely than not choose to expect the worse and manifest it through self-sabotage. To sit in fear and expect the best is to decide to sit in true discomfort and that’s, well, uncomfortable, but in some ways liberating. 

There’s no braver moment than when you commit to try something that petrifies you, whether it’s staring at brown eyes or meeting at a wine bar. The commitment, the decision to let your arrival speak to your active participation, it makes you hope that on the other side is someone who understands that for all the ways you’re independent, financially or in any other regard, and brave, you’re in no way synonymous with invincible. 

You still bleed. Just like any other person. 

You’re just a special kind of brave. Like only yourself.