Waiting for Wings

August 8th, 2013

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 I’ve been lucky that for the past 20 years I’ve been able to say, express, write what I want through a business I created and I loved. I don’t underestimate the gift that has been because I know so many people who are locked into jobs that are virtual prisons. Subsistence wages that they can’t do without, families who depend on them, kids going to college, career paths that have become clogged with weeds and ruts but are the only paths open to them at that moment. So I know I’ve been hugely fortunate to be able to rebel rouse, speak out, express myself, shock, innovate and try new things, and I’ve taken it for granted. But seeing the venerable Washington Post get sold this week (it was my neighborhood paper during its glory years) made me realize that change comes to all beings and entities, and if I resist it and shut my eyes to it, I’m keeping yourself small and scared. Because it will come whether I’m ready for it or not. You outgrow things or they outgrow you. You lose people and places you love, no matter how hard you try to keep everything the same. It’s what keeps life interesting, but my first instinct about change is always to deny it, to pull down the shades and turn out the lights. And that’s when I’m the most frightened, the most weak, the most imprisoned. You would think that hanging on to the familiar would keep you safe, but it’s just the opposite. When I can force myself to open my eyes and ask what is the worst that could happen and face it head on, I’m suddenly free. Not that I don’t bite my nails or worry about money or wonder what my future holds or think I’ve made the wrong choices or have to take an Ativan to calm down when I wake up with my heart racing in the middle of the night. I do! I do! I do! That’s my mode–I’m always scared and I always have to pry my own fingernails off the ledge in order to let go. But every time I’ve done that, I’ve landed in a better place. Not necessarily a more comfortable place, maybe a place that’s dark and uncertain, but it’s usually a place I need to be at that time. I keep coming back again and again to the Joseph Campbell quote: “If you are falling…dive.”  I like to think there will be wings to catch me whenever that happens.

3 Responses to “Waiting for Wings”

  1. ginny says:

    Nikki, I read this a couple of nights ago and meant to leave you a comment then, but I think was just too emotional. In the moments that I found it and read it, it was so what I needed to hear. Your voice is very truthful I think and has a way of coming across as the one in my own head sometimes – you know the good voice that I need to pay attention to. I think that is what the best writing does. My faith always tells me I am held , I am loved…and yet my anxiety vies for the lead. Reading this helps me to know there will always be the yes, why not, and of course versus the what if, look out, and oh no. It is such a relief to see another normal person acknowledge their process. Accepting myself and all things I can’t control is not half of the battle for me – it is really the complete battle. Thank you for writing this and sharing it!

  2. Rossi says:

    As a girl reading this from her brand new college dorm, you cannot know how close to home this feels. I’m terrified of change, and at times all I want to do is drive home, crawl in my bed, and never let things change. But it’s time to leave my childhood behind, and just know that your words have made that one huge step that much easier. Thank you.

  3. nikki says:

    Thanks so much, Rossi!

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