The past year of my life has felt a little bit like I'm standing on a ledge.
I'm looking down, trying to find out what's underneath, but it's all murky cloud, swirling about and concealing everything from view.
And I know that I have to leap into it and I'm so ready to leap into it, I'm tired of standing on this goddamned ledge, but I'm also sort of afraid to leap because I have no fucking idea where I'll land. Maybe things are better beneath those clouds, who knows? Maybe I'll land in an outright utopia, someplace where I'm free and there are people who like me and understand me, and who I like and understand, and they'll sweep me up in their arms and carry me off to another land and everything will be just fine. Maybe I have nothing to worry about.
Or maybe it's another long, dark jump down a long, dark chasm, and maybe there's nothing but rocks at the bottom for me to crash into and break apart on. Maybe I'll get lost down there. Maybe it'll be so dark and so large that I lose myself down there. What if the world beneath those clouds is nothing more than an endless abyss of ghosts wandering about, searching for a purpose, for another ledge to dive off of that they never actually find? What if I get caught up amongst those ghosts? What if I become one of them?
And of course, I tell myself that that will never happen because I burn bright and red and hot and nothing will ever be able to suppress me in the dark, not completely, but I'm sure those ghosts that I imagine are down there once felt that way too. Maybe that's all life is - you dive off this ledge with confidence and self-assurance, and somewhere along the way the fall stifles your light and leaves you lost, a ghost, in the dark.
But I don't know. Because when I look down, all I see are clouds.
And I just want to leap into them. I want to know what's down there, I want to stop thinking and imagining and creating all of these terrible scenarios in my head when I've seen people down there who aren't ghosts. Every once in a while, when the clouds become thin and I gain a peek, I know I can see a little bit of light, a flame that hasn't gone out, but then the clouds swallow it up and I wonder if I'm imagining it. I don't think I did, but I don't know and that's the problem.
I want to know.
I want to dive off that ledge, once and for all, but every time I take a step someone stops me. They reach a hand across my chest and hold me back, saying "No. It isn't your time yet." But when is it my time? I'm getting impatient, and time moves at a snail's pace, and I hate that I think that because I'm young and I'm beautiful and time goes too quickly and I need to enjoy it while I can. I need to learn to love this ledge because pretty soon I'm gonna have to leap off of it and then...
And then what?
I don't know. But I'm creeping closer to the ledge by the moment, and sooner or later, I'm going to find the answers.
Published by Ciara Hall