I want you to always see me as wild.
The one who says yes to karaoke at midnight
and dances naked in the moonlight in the backyard
and daydreams adventures over coffee.
I want to always wow you with my confidence and drive,
and live in the fiery fierceness of me you seem to crave.
But I am not always that girl.
There are days the fires consume me
and I am pulled under
and suffocated by their smoke.
I retreat to the depths within me to escape,
leaving you behind to wonder which tunnel I’ve crawled down this time.
To be honest, I’m not sure that even I know how deep that darkness goes,
only that sometimes I get lost in the twists and turns.
These caverns are not of my own creation.
They’re the legacy of a lifetime of digging done by others
who didn’t know how sharp their tools were.
Greedy others who plumbed the depths of me out of their own curiosity,
looking for gems to put in their pockets,
taking what they wanted
and leaving me to clean up the rest.
Sometimes landslides trapped me in those caves for weeks.
But I always found my way out.
dancing and wild and laughing,
it was a hard-fought journey back to here.
I may never get all the dirt out from under my fingernails,
and I wear the scars of those many climbs on my skin.
I know these heights because of the depths I’ve been to.
I can only fully appreciate these moments in the sun
because of how far into the dark I’ve gone.
I want you to see me as wild and free,
but I will not always be that girl.
I will get scared.
I will cry and scream in anguish.
I will push in you away—hard.
I will cling to you like a terrified child.
I will insist I can do it on my own
while secretly hoping you’re still going to be there,
no matter how hard I push.
I can do this on my own,
but I don’t want to.
Sometimes I will have to retreat into darkness alone and find my own way out.
I hope to always find you standing at the entrance when I return,
welcoming me back out into the light.
I promise I will always come back.