Running shoes for dummies

You may choose to run away from happiness at some point in your life. It is a common and peculiar trait in our species. Apprehensive about that you cannot fathom, you scamper away from it. Because happiness is not easy to cope with. Especially, if you are not used to it.

So when you realize that you have access to it, you end up mistaking self-defense for self-preservation. And you seem to prefer the harsher certainties you have become familiar with. As dead in the water or distressing as they may be, you find comfort in their circumstantial conclusions. You understand them. Over the years, you have even learned to find yourself through them. You are scared that without them — you may not be able to function the way you have taught yourself to.

Of course, you cannot run away at the first sign of happiness. That would just be silly. So, you create these obstacles to navigate through. Something to keep you occupied. Distracted. Merely attentive to the details of your inadequacies. Big fucking obstacles. Small ones. Anything to stop you from treading new paths.

Sometimes, you build them with so much conviction that you cannot move past them. You feel cramped. You keep finding yourself stuck between a cliff and a leap of faith. Each time, you know that you can jump. You want to, so badly. You rub your eyes to look down one more time. At the possibilities. At the elevation. The love. The longing. Your lips quake as you taste the warmth of the sun underneath your tongue. Your fingers tremble in anticipation. Deep down — you know that you can land safely.

But soon, you feel a coldness in the breeze. A phantom siren fills the air, as you unclench your knuckles. Your shoulder blades droop, and you twist your neck to catch a glimpse of the terrain you crossed to get here. You see familiar faces and places. Everything you want to leave behind. Everything that stopped just short of breaking you before. Everything that ever made an iota of sense in your stupid little world.

A shiver runs up your spine.

Droplets of sweat tumble down the bridge of your nose.

You swallow a lungful of air before turning around.

You walk away from the edge of the cliff.

Not happy.

But, comfortable.

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