It's 5:30am and I'm getting dressed for another weekend trip to London. I look through my wardrobe, by which I mean I scan the several piles of folded clothes sitting on the bedroom floor because even though it's eight months since I moved into this place, I still haven't organised a space to hang my clothes, and I'm beginning not to care.
I wear the same thing, or the same small combination of things, almost every day. The black Nike leggings I bought in 2011 when I first started practising yoga are only just beginning to give out at the knees. They're easy and comfortable and...safe.
That's what I think as I mentally turn the pages on what I might wear today. I'm all for comfort over fashion, but is this comfort I'm going for or safety in disguise?
It has me thinking about safe and how often I, how often we, choose it over something more...alive.
The safe clothes. The ones that let us pass unnoticed in a crowd. The ones that keep us fitting in, our personalities muted in the tones and shapes we choose.
The safe words. The ones that dance around the edges of what we really want to say. The ones daring just enough to appear courageous to others but not daring quite enough to leave us feeling true inside.
The safe behaviour. Saying yes when we mean no. Charging less than the work is worth out of fear that the price that supports us physically and emotionally will be rejected outright. Which is really just a fear that we will be rejected outright.
The safe relationships. The ones we stay in because we're afraid that if we leave we won't get another chance. Safe because we don't have to find a way to love ourselves alone.
The safe creativity. The sort that, over time, dims our wild souls. The 'going through the motions' creativity. The stuff our audience is used to and accepts but not the stuff that burns with the light of being at the edge of something new.
The safe life. The one that's a daily grind of getting to the next thing. The one that's always just ok. The one where, faced with a choice, you opt for vanilla...again.
So if not safe, then what?
The dare. The challenge. The pushing of the edges. The unknown. The risk. The discomfort. The not being sure if it'll work out.
If not safe, then what?
If not safe, then alive.
Failure, falling, growing, pain, all the freaking hard stuff. But alive. Always alive.
I'm all for what makes you feel good. But not when we're mistaking feeling good for feeling...safe.
Down with safe.
And give me the beauty and pain of being fully alive. Let me dance always at the edges. Take me to the precipice and let me stay there forever, never knowing what will come next but always certain that life is having its wild way through me.
Love and courage,