Wild living room scene. Flailing limbs unchoreographed dancing to raunchy hip hop to make your grandma cringe and the neighbors think there must be a high school rager going on. Barking dog joins the cacophony, rugs slide askew and breath comes fast. A Sunday, anything but serenity.
This girl has never been much of a Wild Woman- careful and calculating, each decision has been planned with the utmost caution and analysis. It must be perfect, after all- perfect plans, perfect life. I never left one job without another lined up and a savings account safety net. My proud parents commended my responsibility, a too-late hippie girl who wanted serial monogamy and a reliable car.
Uncertainty equaled panic. Anxiety. Failure. It wasn’t safe.
Life has proceeded in due stride. I’ve flanked myself with safe men, adorned myself in safe clothes, always lived in safe neighborhoods and made safe choices. Rarely out past 11pm, I’ve been a Nice Girl. A Responsible Girl.
This weekend I broke open. Fell apart. Something shifted and safety felt suffocating. Alone, I went to see a band whose music touches me in some otherworldly way. I drank wine. I danced with strangers, and they held my hands as we reminded one another of our names. Heyoka. Debbie. Tara. Tony. In that strange winery by the airport, the pavement of my perfect path cracked.
From that space, growth.
I took a week off. I made vague plans to take my dog and go see Oregon. I’ve never been there, and it’s so close- a nine hour drive through incredible country. Montana. Idaho. Then, the west coast. Nothing between me and change. Freshness. The unknown anything-could-happenness of an open week, a car, and the road.
What?! My rational safe mind keeps yelling, shrill shrieks of disbelief. Are you crazy? Where is this decision coming from? This isn’t planned! Or useful! Or…or…
A voice. Sometimes it comes from my heart, sometimes my belly, sometimes behind my shoulders. It holds me. It validates me. It reminds me to look up and breathe.
Today it said, Sometimes, you have to make decisions on a whim. Stop planning. This is what your heart wants- though you might not know the reason, it is growth. Go.
I sigh. What kind of guide says that? She always seems to be so reckless- a quality I have as of yet been unable to cultivate without knots in my belly. A quickened pulse. That nervous fingernail picking that devolves into a 12 year old me.
Screw it. Fine.
I’ll do it.
My beautiful life has been shaken. Stirred. The waters suddenly look a little more choppy from here- or maybe more sparkly. It takes one to get the other. Change is afoot- blame it on the fact that I’m entering my Saturn Returns. Blame it on an almost-30-what-the-hell-am-I-doing self analysis. Whatever it is, it’s uncomfortable. Scary. And kinda wild.
And I kinda like it.
(That doesn’t mean I haven’t had a slew of sleepless nights, days on end without an appetite, zero attention span and too much time on Facebook. No. Not at all.)
But now… it all takes on a different meaning. Flavor. Tone. I have knots in my belly that scream to burst forth in rainbows of color. Things are sprouting. And they want. out. now. In all their anxiety-inducing wild unsafeness. POW.
Wild sisters: this story unfolds, even now. The voice keeps telling me to do more, to get wilder, to dance bigger and wear more dresses and stay out later and hug new people. To taste that nectar- the one that’s kind of forbidden to us Nice Girls. Well, not forbidden, really, but it’s never the prudent choice.
What are you craving? We become so adept at squashing our deep wildness that it can almost go dormant. Silenced, until it begins to squirm. And then what?
I want to slather my body in paint and dance across sheets of canvas. I want to shake my little ass until I have blisters on my toes and can’t imagine shoes. I want to run through tall grass and tumble into a stream, a graceless splash that gets the passers-by. These are wild things- crazy things- things my grandmother would think ridiculous and silly and strange.
But sisters… it’s what we’re made to do.
Screw Safe. Safe has no passion, no fire, no flow. Screw perfect. So predictable and boring, it paves over all the gorgeous stones and sprouts along the way. The concrete has cracked. The path has taken on an entirely different tenor.
And I will go.
Heather Day is an Anxiety Warrior Coach and recovering perfectionist over at Vital Being Wellness. She loves the slow life, the redefined life, and invites her clients to let go of control and welcome imperfection.