Let me rephrase that.
If I fail, at least I fail while daring greatly.
I sent an e-mail to my best friend from Wisconsin today, Steph.
I love her, intensely, awesomely, with much passion and wild abandon.
“Oh my God!” She exclaimed once, all a flounce in her dirndle, “if I was a man or a lesbian, I would eat you out right now!”
Famous Stephanie words.
We have discussed.
But going down town on a girl, not my thing, ick. Nor hers, we have been down that road. Oh not the let’s get naked in a hot tub world after too many half liters of Warsteiner at the Essen Haus, but sitting together somewhere, anywhere with Stephanie is pretty awesome, and talking heart to heart and honestly with one another.
She loves me.
I love her.
She is the only person I would drive 85 miles an hour with in the dark with no lights on in the car.
I have you know.
She knew the roads like the back of her hand, and she proved it while dipping over a hill on the way from her family cabin on Lake #7 to get pizza with the rest of the girls and her mom at the little tavern down the road. She hit the top of the hill, gunned the engine and turned off the lights. We floated through summer star soup and spun along with the moon.
I shrieked with joy and abandon.
Today I responded to a phone call message she had left me.
It is challenging staying in touch when you are two different time zones apart and one lady has a family of three boys and a husband and a full-time job and a house and all that which goes with it.
And the other gal has a full life with odd retail hours and a full roster of things to do and places to be.
So I wrote her an e-mail, I also left a voice mail, on the off, off, off chance I would catch her on her lunch break today.
I told her when I was leaving for Paris. Where the cats went. When I am returning, I am not. What I am doing, I do not know. Where I am living–rue de Crespin–what my permanent address in the states is–Graceland–for November, December, and January. And where all my stuff, what little stuff there is left, is–in storage in Tanya’s garage.
I told her I was going.
I told her I was not returning.
Or at least that was the plan.
And fact is I don’t have a plan.
Just a leap.
Just a dare.
Just a great dare.
It is like a double dog dare with a dash of truth on the side.
It goes beyond telling the boy in the room that you have a crush on him, beyond flashing your tits at the bartender, way beyond staring over the edge of the ten story building.
It is actually leaping without seeing the net and knowing that you will be caught regardless.
I told Stephanie, I know this all sounds crazy, and wild, and ok, let’s be honest, it sounds totally like me.
How many times have I jumped in and tried something crazy?
Yeah, sometimes it hurt like no ones business.
I won’t soon forget doing a back flip off the lifeguard stand at the DeForest Pool and slipping as I dove off the platform and not pulling the somersault.
I landed flat on my back.
This move, I do not think will hurt like that.
It may be painful, but in pain there is growth, at least I have learned that.
I think of all the things I have tried and all the times I have failed and then I think, look at all the experiences I have gotten to have. Look at all the ways I have grown and gotten stronger.
Stronger in my sense of self.
Stronger in my reliance on my gut, on my intuition, on my senses and my faith, so much deeper.
A great reservoir of love within me that I can siphon off anytime my thirst needs quenching.
I am young in face partially because of genetics, partially because of good health practises–no cocaine, no vodka, no beer, no cigarettes, no sugar, no flour.
Yet, my youth, my vitality, my exuberance, my joy comes from all the times I have tried to do something different and yes, fallen flat, but daring greatly.
I have done back flips on trampolines, poorly, but I have. I taught myself how to ice skate, roller skate, and turn cartwheels and round-offs–I even taught myself how to walk a balance beam and do a round off from the edge. It is a whole lot harder than you think it is and a whole lot higher. I will never forget that feeling of free fall.
I practised Shaolin and fell on my face so many times, literally, but I have a black belt.
I have been on roller coasters.
I have travelled.
I learned how to ride clipless and I rode my bike from San Francisco to Los Angeles.
I learned how to ride fixed gear.
I fought in Thunder Dome at Burning Man.
I have flown in a small plane and free fallen.
I told some one I was in love with them even when I knew they were not with me, just so I could be free, just so I could move on, move forward, and tell another person those same words honestly, even when they too, did not respond how I had wished.
I have done public speaking.
I have performed on stage.
I have acted, sang, recited poetry, played cello, danced in front of people.
I have read from my own book at a reading at Green Apple Books in San Francisco.
Shit, I wrote a book.
I do not even care that it is not published, I wrote a book.
I have danced behind the decks of famous djs because I was in awe of the music and let myself go there.
I have held my breath and swam all the way across the bottom of the pool without coming up for air.
I have been afraid and walked through it anyway.
I have sat quietly.
I have let you see me cry.
I have asked for help, perhaps the most daring thing of all.
I have put myself out there again and again and again.
And I have ideas and sometimes, man, well, they suck, they really do.
But sometimes, moving to Paris, they don’t and I get to follow through with those ideas and see where they lead and they may go right down a rabbit hole, or they may go through an ancient French cemetery in the heart of Paris, but they will go on a journey, they will tell my story, they will fill me up.
And in that there is no failure.
There is only greatness.