I am amazed at how my world has changed the last few years. I spent several years winding my way between boulders, forcing myself to move with the river churning beneath me. I have spent a lot of time clutching the side of a cliff face, trying to figure out where I can reach, how far I can stretch to catch the next tiny divot in the rock and pull myself higher. I spend a lot less time doing those things now. I still long for them. I can’t believe I used to think I was brave.

On Sunday I was running a half marathon, when suddenly the sharp pain in my calf reminded me of an old injury. Reminded me loudly enough for me to fall, scraping my hands on the pavement. An accquintance’s astute observation minutes after my fall, “You didn’t look happy when I saw you at mile 10.” Well, no. I was gritting my teeth and trying to finish. Sucking in all of the energy I had to keep from crying, to keep from limping or begging for a cell phone or a ride at the final waterstation, a mile and a half from the finish line.

And today, I was reminded less than gently for the second time this week that perhaps the choice I made a few years ago was not the best choice for me. So far, I’m 2 and 0. Today culminated with a cheery call on the commute home and pretending not to fight back (yet more) tears. Some quick calculations regarding billable hours, mortgages, and grocery bills. Hoping a little. Giving up.

Waterfalls? They’re easy compared to this. This week has been all about a new kind of bravery for me: one for which I am ill-prepared. a bravery which startles me, and leaves me feeling fragile and frail.

How do you know when it’s okay to just risk it? To take the leap and hope that everything works out okay? If I left my job, we would have no safety net if things went south with his work, and no guarantee my company would thrive. I never thought that these day to day things would be so wrapped up in fear. I never believed that there wouldn’t be a clear answer.


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