I did it: I fell


A collage I wish could be way bigger, honoring way more people, and many more memories.

I got comfortable standing still, and now, all of a sudden, I’m on the floor.

I fell.

And I thought it’d hurt more, or that I’d feel angrier, but the pain is good, and the anger is inspiring.

A fallen tree is always a sad sight, but a tree doesn’t fall until it’s ready.

And now I’m enveloped in a hug of new moss, with the promise of more pigmented flowers, and movements and sounds unlike anything I’d known before. But, I still look up at a perfectly worn sky and think, “I had just gotten there.”

Here. I spent years growing into my surroundings, collecting people that not only perfectly complemented my aura of neutrals and greens but also loved it. The sort of people that make pretty words seem like the only kind. And with those people, I spent years locating the best and most secret nooks to have stupid, yet unrepeatable, conversations in; it was so much fun.

And I spent years discovering how much I deeply loved metaphors and nature and how happy they became when they were together. And even with all of that love and passion, I still got to learn that a raised black platform with a couple hundred seats in front of it isn’t very scary at all, and I found out how much music really means to peoplehow much it really means to me.

And of course, as soon as I get here, “Let me go!” turns into “Please, please, let me stay.”

Because, as much as I loathe leaning against chair backs that are a little too straight, thinking about all the things we’re supposed to do, I never wanted to wish away the things we weren’t supposed to do.

I never wanted to stop going on midday coffee runs, saying “Remind me that I need to tell you something” in the middle of vocal warmups, or listening to an audiobook while watering my lettuce.

And so much good has come from sharing snacks and talking too much during our book clubs, making side remarks during first hour so quietly that only we can hear them, and treating my sixth hour like a shelter for all of the people who don’t have a sixth hour of their own.

I must be the luckiest one alive to have so many things I’ll miss so much.

I want to keep feeling so inspired by the talents of my peers, of my people, that my own accomplishments feel small, and to keep screaming about love that was never really real, and to scream even louder about all the love that is. 

I want to keep writing and reading other people’s writing and talking to people about writing and write some more, and I want to keep talking about life with a genius in cool socks who occasionally reminds us to practice for our upcoming concert, and I want to keep doing it with all of you.

I thought all of this was the part I was waiting for the most, the part where my roots started breaking—the part right before the fall. The part where I laugh through expected tears, and hold onto the first person who brought me into the light, and frustratedly try to write the last installment of a series of words that showed me that my growth mattered. 

But of course, I realized that I never really wanted it all to end, especially the part where I get to be with the best humans the world has. 

And, I do know it isn’t really ending. A fallen tree is still a tree, just somewhere a little different. 

And sure, I’ll have to watch songbirds from afar as they sing songs I’m sure I’ll wish I was singing with them, and I’ll have to hear the wind carry the laughter of nights I’ll wish I would’ve been there for, and it’ll be sad, but thank goodness for that.

I must be the luckiest one alive to have so many things I’ll miss so much.

And now, here I am, laying with the grass and the leaves and the other trees, watching a sky I’ll always be able to see—at peace. Because, somewhere, in a room I can’t talk about without getting choked up, rests a ceiling tile painted by a 15-year-old me that reads: “Sometimes we may fall, but we can fall into a more beautiful version of ourselves.”

So, I did it. I fell. And some, maybe even I, may say, that I fell into a more beautiful version of myself.