Sometimes you have to draw a line across your heart, you know?
Sometimes you have to draw a line across your heart and pray that you haven’t just drawn it in the quicksand between the atrium and the ventricle, between one pump and the next.
Sometimes you have to breathe fire and shout at the gathering crowd, and sometimes those, “Do not attempt this at home,” words ring so true.
Because never. You would never wish this on someone else.
Sometimes, your knees shake. Your hands tremble. Sometimes, your voice can only whisper your truth. Sometimes, swallowing is so hard, and sometimes it feels like it’s your dreams and his dreams and not enough of our dreams and maybe that’s why your throat hurts so much in the morning.
Sometimes, you watch the sun go down and understand her need to rest.
Sometimes you just have to start again.
Did you lose yourself for a second?
Did you forget where you came from?
Did you forget your nine-year-old self and those hair ties with the balls on them, and did you forget the baby blue curtains hanging in your Barbie house?
Did you forget yourself at 12? Scarred knees, bad eyeshadow, your hair parted on the wrong side, and your voice just starting to bloom in your chest?
Did you forget yourself at 16? Talking your way out of detentions, winking at the wrong people, laughing at everything,
laughing, like some kind of sweet joy belongs right where it’s at – inside you?
Did you forget yourself at 20? One sure step mixed with three uncertain steps, skirts too short, hands clasped with lifetime friends, and your heart still pretty shiny, new, and almost untouched?
Did you forget the fire in your belly and the tingle in your fingers and did your vertebrae forget how to straighten?
Walk yourself back home, baby.
Call on yourself at nine, at twelve, at sixteen, and at twenty.
Gather your twenties.
Huddle your thirties.
Pull them all together between your sinewy arms, pick them all up, and carry them all back to the beginning.
Back to when you were still you, and back before you gave pieces of yourself away like gum on Friday nights. Back before you gave yourself away like quarters in a jukebox or your number on crumbled pieces of notebook paper.
Walk yourself back to the line you drew across your now lacerated heart, your bruised atriums, and your calloused ventricles. Stand there with every single thing you’ve ever learned and every single person you’ve ever met and every single hurt you’ve ever survived. Stand there with the blood slushing down your knees, with your scabbed over elbows, and your dirty, sweaty hair.
Stand there with your nine-year-old innocent courage.
Stand there with your twelve-year-old attitude.
Stand there with your sixteen-your-old sense of worth.
Stand there with your brazen twenty-year-old self.
Stand there with hands full of lessons,
hands full of do-overs,
hands full of never-agains,
hands full of always-enoughs –
and use it as a new starting line.