You’re standing at the edge of a cliff.
‘I’ve got you. It’s all going to be OK,’ said a voice on the wind. Or maybe it was your heart?
You’ve climbed so far to get here.
Some days you were dragged up – the wind pushed you, the rain beat you forward. On good days the path cleared just a little – to remind you that you are, in fact, going the right way.
You can remember how it felt to touch the clouds. At least you thought that’s what you could feel between your fingertips. You detoured off the path and climbed onto the roof of a broken house that you could never call home. When the doors stayed shut and the windows boarded up you realised – you had to keep climbing.
And now you’re here.
The wind won’t stop. It carries the whispers of the past, opinions and ideas, suggestions and warnings, from everyone you’ve met on your ascent so far. They all know something you don’t, they all would do it differently. But they aren’t you. You have to do this all on your own.
It’s not the kind of mountain you can climb down. That’s not how life works. There’s only one way forward and it’s straight over the edge. You think you know what’s over there. But what if you’re wrong? You hope you’re going to land in the clouds – for real this time. But what if there are jagged rocks or deep, deep water that will never let you see the surface again?
You want to be sure and you want to be safe. But there’s no safe, there’s no sure. There’s no crystal ball and there are no guarantees.
There’s just the edge.
And you’re all on your own up here. Sure, you can phone a friend but they can’t do it for you. This is your life. And the next hour, the next day, the next month – the next ten years – will be guided by what you do next. And that’s the truly terrifying part. This is the flap of a butterfly’s wing. This is the chaos theory in full effect. What you do next will echo through the rest of your life, for all your years to come. It will set the tone and the standard, the course and the coast. Are you ready for it? Can you handle the pressure?
You’ve already survived so much worse. Your heels are scabbed, your back aches, you’re sunburnt and wind-whipped, there’s sand in your eyes and under your fingernails. You’re so fucking done. And you’ve done so fucking much. And now you have to leave it all behind.
You have to let it all go. All the hurt and pain. You have to finally move on, tackle the next mountain (or molehill) of your life. You have to let go.
YOU HAVE TO LET GO.
It’s for your own good really.
Are you ready for it? Are you ready to jump? You can’t hold on to anything once you do it. You have to forget the whispers and the people they came from. You have to forgive the people who hurt you. You have to forgive yourself. Can you do that?
It’s nearly time to jump. To fall. To fly. Whatever happens, you have to move. You have to keep going.
Don’t look back. You’re not going that way.
Cry first if you have to. Feel sorry for yourself. Feel every ounce of hurt and pain that’s been inflicted on you and that you have undoubtedly inflicted. Sob your little heart out for the mistakes and the misunderstandings of the past. Be sad. Be sorry.
Then jump. Do it with your whole body and all of your spirit.
This isn’t the kind of thing you can fake or half-ass.
Throw yourself into the future. Embrace it. Enjoy it.
Remember that life happens for you not too you. You just have to know the difference and know that perspective is everything.
… Tell me what happens when you do?
For more short form poetry visit @missbethcan
For lengthier poetic musings visit my poetry archive.