I’m not scared of falling, in any sense of the word. Falling for a man, falling face down on the earth, or undergoing a completely crazy event and falling away from the person I used to be.
Life is about change. It’s about embracing everything that’s thrown at you and taking it in stride. It’s about breathing in the world around you, it’s about learning who you are, it’s about navigating the strange and uncharted waters of your heart and learning to let people in.
I think we fear falling too much.
We think that we’re supposed to be people that don’t let ourselves fail. And for some reason we think that failing and falling are synonymous. And that we’re not allowed to do either of them.
We see falling as slipping, as colliding, as losing our footing and plummeting down to some unfortunate ending. We see falling as this downwards path that brings us so far away from where we were supposed to be. We see falling as defeat.
But it’s not.
Falling in love—we always hear that phrase. But falling for someone isn’t a bad thing. It’s one of the most beautiful things about our existence as humans. It’s the ability to have a stranger become a piece of who you are. It’s about learning to love someone outside of yourself, as a part of yourself, maybe even more than yourself.
Falling in love means losing that outer shell around your heart. It means willingly letting go of your tight grip on who you are and what you’ve planned your life out to be, and embracing the unknown in giving your heart away.
Falling in love means that yes, there’s a chance of ending up empty and dirty with skinned knees. But it also means falling into the arms of someone who’s ready and willing to save you. Falling into something that’s greater than what the two of you could ever be on your own.
Falling means that you are trusting someone to catch you, which is pure and beautiful and vulnerable and strong.
And then there’s the other kind of falling, the falling where you make mistakes, where you didn’t reach the intended goal, when you have slipped away from the direction you thought you’d be heading on. The kind of falling where you ultimately end up far from where you intended, and think that means you’ve failed. But you haven’t.
Falling down means that the next step is getting back up.
It isn’t this permanent state of being. It isn’t that once you fall you’ll never have the ability to stand again. Falling just means that you’ve temporarily strayed from the path you were meant to be on. And now you just have to dust off and begin again.
Falling isn’t failure.
You can fall down thousands of times before getting it right, and that doesn’t matter. All that matters is that you got it right.
There will be plenty of times when you don’t make the cut, when you throw your life in a certain direction and it completely flops, when you trust that things will happen according to a set plan and they take a total turn for the worst.
But none of these situations mean that you have fallen too far. You fell down for a moment. SO WHAT? The next step is getting back on your feet and going after it.
You’ve fallen, but you’re not a failure.
So shed that timid skin. Repel the notion the world gives you about falling and embrace that this is just a natural part of life. You’re going to slip, collide, crash, lose your footing, and plummet.
But you will survive.
And when you rise, you will be even stronger than before.