The second before i’m about to hit the ground after my legs have unexpectedly slipped, again, my mind races like no other. First, I think of specifics. How did this happen? Why wasn’t I watching my step? Are the bottoms of my shoes worn down? Then, I dig deeper. Is this going to hurt? How am I gonna fucking catch myself? Will I get back up?
I don’t wanna fall. But I can’t seem to stay off the ice. I think about falling more than one person should, yet I can’t seem to slow down or be more cautious with my steps. My impulsive and impatient nature keeps me trekking right through the thick ice which is covering most of Philadelphia right now.
No matter how quickly I seem to be falling, I manage to find time to fire off a dozen questions. Am I really gonna wipe out? Can anyone see me? Who will help me back up? What if I can’t stand on my two feet again? Was going out in the ice really the best option?
What is the outcome of these falls that plague me everytime I step outside of my Society Hill apartment? I normally catch myself. Time speeds back up to its normal pace and I continue on. After the fall, I find myself more cautious. I am worried what will happen next, my future.
Winter will thaw, and I sense that my falls will not cease. Each slip on the ice is a not-so-gentle reminder that there may not be ice one day, and I will still slip. Simple things, like having an every-so-often slip that others often experience, serve as reminders of what I so often try to forget.
I try to remind myself, there is ice on the ground. And I am allowed to slip on ice. Because that is what happens to a normal, healthy, 24-year-old living in an ice covered city.
As New York City seems farther and farther away, I have become good at catching myself. I see myself catching myself when things are moving too fast. I catch myself before settling for less than I deserve. I catch myself before compromising huge parts of myself to fit someone else’s vision of what/who I should be.
Maybe it’s this slick, frozen city but I find myself falling in a way I never imagined and being okay with it. After months of learning to catch myself, this unexpected slip has caused me to fall. I can’t stop my mind from thinking a dozen what-if’s as I fall quicker and quicker towards the ground. Luckily, this isn’t my first ice-covered city. I just need to make sure I’m not so busy catching myself, that I forget that sometimes it’s okay to let myself fall.