Ya girl workin' that skating rink with a fresh spiral perm and enough hairspray on her bangs to withstand the strongest of Oklahoma winds. And that was probably the last time I set these feet ta rollin' until last night.
I mean we're talking 30 years, people. And that shit ain't like riding a bike.
Here's what it felt like: WEIRD. Ya know how when you do something you've never done before, your body feels kind of spasy? Yeah, it's like that. Every inch I rolled (barely), I wondered what the hell was going to happen next.
Please don't fall. How am I gonna turn this corner? Whoooah whoah, whoahhhhhoookay thank God I can go straight again. Shit! Why is my body flailing around like it's been electrocuted?? I couldn't look any less cool than I do in this moment.
I loved it. As foreign as it all felt, from my arms out to my sides in an awkward effort to keep me balanced to my shins that felt like someone had taken a match to them, it was completely exhilarating.
It reminded me of what it feels like to really live. To really love.
I mean, talk about being out of my comfort zone. I felt like a toddler who was taking her first Frankenstein-ish steps....half petrified, half thrilled at a whole new world that accompanies learning to walk.
A few things I noticed as the night wore on: I was using muscles I didn't even know I had. My shins were on fire, but that pain didn't stop me from wanting to keep going. I'd occasionally sit and rest for a song or two, and when I'd muster the courage to get back out there, I'd find that it was a baby bit easier than my last go
There were people everywhere. Some were whizzing around me, moving like they'd been doing it their whole lives. Others had what looked like walkers, except with rollers on the bottom so they could forge ahead with something to hold on to. And then there was me, somewhere in the middle, gliding along at my own pace, and every once in awhile, really hitting my stride for as many moments as I could string together. And when that would happen, I could relax for a second or two and just kind of float along with everyone else.
It felt good. Almost natural.
Living an authentic, out loud, vulnerable, transparent life is the scariest thing I've ever done. Like lacing up those skates, I had every doubt in the world about whether I'd be able to do it. That I would look dumb or people would laugh at me or I'd fall.
That I'd get hurt.
But I did it anyway. And to my surprise, I wasn't half bad.
Loving people is the same. The risk of injury is high, but the exhilaration that comes from really connecting with other human beings is something I never regret. It has taken some practice and lots of times around the the loop to get the hang of it, but with careful attention to what's in front of me and how to avoid running someone over or getting hit from behind, it has quickly become the most freeing thing I've ever felt.
Life and love are joy and pain on four wheels, laced up real tight for risky safe keeping.