Once upon a time, there was a little ship named Charles. Charles was small and powerful, charging over great waves and white caps. He felt indestructible.

Before we get too far in, you should know this story doesn’t end well for Charles, who was made of steel and metal and bolts.

For one day when a wave too large swelled, the little ship fell. He fell down, down, down to the bottom of the sea, where electric fish live.

How could this be?” Charles wondered. “I was made with bolts and steel.” He’d been crafted to brace against crashes. “What did they miss when they built me?”

Forever feels particularly long when you’re lying at the bottom of the ocean.


We talk so much about resilience. Grit. Perseverance. Numbing ourselves to the rejection so that it doesn’t hurt anymore.

Some of us get very good at it. These people arm themselves with thick skins and protections. But just inside is still that tender confection of guts and emotion.

So when something finally slices through, the shock of it becomes too much. And down they fall, gripping the weight of their shields.

I don’t want to work on growing thicker skin. I don’t want to bolt metal shingles, one by one, to my exterior. I want to fill myself up with air. Leather my skin so it’s waterproof, supple, and strong.

I want to be buoyant. And when the skin is pierced, I want to float and stare at the sky before sewing myself back up.