It’s a beautiful day today. I slip on my sandals and head outside. It feels like it’s been so long since the sun was the only thing in the sky, so today is extra beautiful. Don’t get me wrong, it’s nice to have the mixture of sun and clouds, but sometimes partly cloudy weather gets boring. I stroll down the sidewalk in shorts, a t-shirt, and my favorite sandals, the ones that always leave tan lines on my feet at the end of the summer. It’s just right. I’m out for hours enjoying the sun. I’m about to head home when I notice a few droplets hit the sidewalk. I look up, to realize that the clouds are fast approaching the sun and my sunny weather outfit has greatly left me vulnerable. I start beating myself up. I’m such an idiot. Every time I finally see the sun, it always ends up getting ruined. Maybe I just shouldn’t go outside. I’m soaking wet and miserable because I left the house. I’m never leaving the house again unless I have rain clothes and an umbrella.
* * *
It’s been so long since I’ve left the house without my rain clothes. I’ve moved to a place where it hardly rains, but I still can’t feel comfortable enough to let go of my old ways. I was soaked that day and I got a cold. I just want to feel the sun beating down on me, but I’m just too afraid to hang up my rain clothes. I can’t bring up the courage to even go out without my umbrella already opened and held above my head. I’m so tired of my fear taking away the sun, even though I know if I just relax, I could enjoy it.
* * *
Looking back, it was stupid to get into this habit. Even after I was soaked and got a cold, I eventually dried out and recovered. But one bad experience has led me to keep my umbrella up, even when there’s no cloud in sight. Yes, umbrellas stop the rain from hitting me, but they also do the same thing with the sun. It’s a struggle that I can’t seem to overcome—I can’t control the rain. It would be so much easier if I could.
It’s kinda funny how we waste so much energy trying to control things that we can’t control or putting up barriers so we can at least control what reaches us. It’s one thing to know where my umbrella is when I need it. It’s another thing to be unable to function without it. The former gives a real sense of security, knowing that I am prepared when the moment arises. The latter only robs life of its natural ups and downs. It robs our ability to open up and let ourselves be vulnerable, to have natural human experiences, to truly live. I know I should put down my umbrella, but I’m so afraid that if I do, I’m gonna get wet again.