December 4, 2015

I’m Not Who I Used to Be—but I’m Scared Sh*tless to be who I really am.

girl, frustrated, sad, lost,

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[Heads Up! A few adult words ahead, mostly those beginning with “S” and rhyming with “it,” plus an F-bomb or two.]

I stand breathless, in the awkward, empty in-between—torn between who I used to be, and who I really am.

I’m like a piece of hopeful paper that’s no longer blank, but in all its crazed longing for ink, hasn’t quite become something else yet.

I’m a sketch that’s still living in the echoing ethers of imagination; a painting that exists only in the gentle smoke-like stirrings of a heart unable to find rest; a love that fails to coalesce.

Yes, the giant, gaping chasm that encapsulates me—the past pulls my hands hard, the future invites me with fierce, ballsy excitement, the present confuses me.

And yet, I can’t move.

I stand on a jagged cliff, with one foot in the past, one in the future—both frozen with fear, not jumping, not moving, only staying still—as the expansive abyss of the great unknown swirls like charcoal smoke below me.

I’m not who I used to be, but I’m scared shitless to be who I really am.

Where the hell do I go from here?

Because it’s true, I can no longer be who I once was, and yet, being who I really am seems like a far-fetched idea, stitched in the sparkling madness of a gossamer fantasy.

I stand in the bullseye of stormy confusion, biting back the tears that refuse to be bitten back anymore.

Oh shit, the tears stream wildly now, well-meaning thoughts of bravery and elegance unable to keep them back.

Who I used to be—the girl I once was—she’s gone, nothing more than the faint fumes of a mysterious memory, written in whispers of sadness, of silence, of shrinking.

And yet, I still feel her, deep inside my chest.

She’s not dead.

She’s a distant part of me.

Fragmented thoughts. Fragmented feelings. Fragmented breathing.

Pieces of raw emotion peel off my skin and fly around the room—an accidental tornado of all that I feel, of all that I’ve ever felt.

In the darkness, in the incessant chatter of spinning confusion, in the raw mania of truth, all I hear is my wild heartbeat, like distant thunder.




It grows louder and prouder, as I come home to myself.

Should I jump?

Should I take the risk? Should I become who I really am?

Immediately, I feel that familiar stab of fear in my gut—the fear that stops me from breathing. The fear that’s plucked the life from me, like a cruel, icy hand popping off a daisy’s head.

I’m scared.

The words that seem to mean everything. The sentence that stops me in my tracks. The phrase that tramples on my bravery and silences my roaring courage.

So what!? I say, today. So fucking what!?

It’s okay to be scared.

So today, I try something new. I decide that I’m not really stuck.

I get down off that exhausting cliff of duality. Because maybe the question isn’t about jumping or not jumping, being scared or not being scared.

Maybe it’s not so black and white.

Maybe it’s about gradually becoming who we are, like the subtle shading of a raspberry soufflé sunset in an oil painting.

Maybe, with every passing day, with every moment, with every breath, we become just a little more ourselves until we are fully submerged in the soulful truth of our identities.

And fuck, maybe it’s not even about becoming anything at all.

Maybe it’s just about being—breathing.

We forget, but there is more than moving forward into the future; we can also move side to side. We can twirl; we can leap. We can sashay and spin and stretch and rest—and slide right in the present moment.

Maybe jumping isn’t required.

Maybe all we need is a breath. A beautiful dream. A luscious moment alone. A morning spent gazing at streaks of orange-tinged sunlight.

Don’t be so certain you already know what you need.

Ask yourself. Really ask.

Maybe you need something different, something unfamiliar, something unexpected.

There’s roominess in asking—openness which spawns breath, which spawns life, which spawns strength.

Simply in opening to ourselves and exploring where we are now, we can begin to feel more free, less stuck.

This tiny feather of freedom—it can mean the world to us.

It does to me.

So I sit down.

I stretch and sway, not so focused on how to move forward, where to go, who to be.

I surrender to the sweet scent of lilacs dipped in hope, exciting whiffs of who I already am, of the beautiful things that seem just a little more possible right now.

And I feel the thing that I’ve never had the courage to believe: I don’t need to try so hard.

I don’t need to know how.

So, for this moment, I screw knowing. I screw trying.

Fuck ’em both, for just a succulent second.

I breathe, grounding myself in the steady rising and falling of my chest.

I wander.

I wonder.

I explore this precious moment, diving headfirst into the bouquet of dripping, juicy beauty that’s available here.

I sigh, seeing for the first time that I already am everything I need to be.



Come Closer & Take Off Your Mask, I Want to See You.


Author: Sarah Harvey

Editor: Toby Israel

Photo: Pixabay


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