08/24/2006: "Take back the night"
When I was in jr. high/high school, I used to go out running late at night. I would run and run until I couldn't anymore. I wasn't an athlete or anything but there was something so liberating about running in the dark, down empty streets, out on the highway past rustling corn fields, and I never felt afraid.
A conversation I had recently brought up a lot of things that have happened since then, large and small, that have chipped away at that deep sense of security I had. After graduation I was adventurous enough to move to Alaska alone, to take scuba diving, to travel and study overseas etc. My dad would get so worried, not wanting me to get hurt and I’d say “if anything happens to me, you’ll know it was doing what I love and that I’d be ok with that”…it sounds cliché but I meant it.
I guess the older I get the more aware I am of my vulnerabilities…that I’m not as strong or indestructible as I once imagined, and that there are those out there who just possibly mean me harm. I still take risks but they are calculated and there are things I don’t do anymore because I’ve allowed fear to creep in around the edges.
Tonight I was so restless and bored…you know, when you don’t feel like watching a movie or reading or anything else…so I went for a brisk walk in the dark. (I’m not in shape enough anymore to “run” exactly) but I got good and sweaty and it felt incredible. I pushed down the voice that said “there could be someone lurking out there" because honestly, I don’t want to live my life so guarded. I want to believe that “if anything happens to me, you’ll know it was doing what I love and that I’d be ok with that”…