And the day came when the risk to remain tight in a bud was more painful than the risk it took to blossom.

These days I keep dreaming about a beach house. Seal-grey or frosty blue or avocado green or all three. Wooden and alone on a hill with windows opening their shutters, their arms to flowers and the ocean and a pier. Books piled high in every room. Blueberries for breakfast and lunch in town and languid dinners on the porch. I write a lot here. The fresh air is good for my hands; my fingers can breathe here.

I tell her that I know now, suddenly, why I don’t write: I refuse to accept excess isolation. Writing is a lonely bubble and I don’t need more lonely. I have it in the mornings when I wake up so far away from most of the people I love. I have it on Friday nights when I watch The Goonies in high heels. I have it when it’s a sunny Sunday and I want to go out for lunch but find my phonebook is too thin. I have it when I feel dizzy after donating blood and have no one to pick me up. I have it in the middle of the night when The Mean Reds cut through me and there’s no one to tell me to stop crying.

I tell her I don’t need more lonely. But I do need more writing.

I tell her I am the proverbial fig tree. That being twenty-seven makes me panic. That soon, the proverbial figs are going to starting plopping at my feet because I can’t pick one.

“And the day came when the risk to remain tight in a bud was more painful than the risk it took to blossom.”

-Anais Nin-

One day soon, I will wear high heels out to parties and I will have a fat phonebook and plenty of company for lunch. My life will be full again soon. It has to be. But I will always be alone at the foot of the fig-tree. So I need to suck it up, climb it and pick a damn fig.


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I drink, I laugh, I smoke, I write.

14 thoughts on “And the day came when the risk to remain tight in a bud was more painful than the risk it took to blossom.”

    1. Someone once told me that one of their favourite things about me was my ability to find everyone fascinating. I consider myself very lucky to have many friends. Unfortunately, they’re almost always in different countries!

  1. Good lord, yes. This was how I was feeling so strongly, for so long. I think I’m finally starting to pick some figs and it’s not nearly as terrifying as I thought it would be.

    I would watch The Goonies with you and do the truffle shuffle.

  2. The beach house sounds perfect! More than that, it’s wonderful to read new words from you. How strange to think that what you feel increases your “lonely” has exactly the opposite effect for me. A new post appears from you and it’s like a close friend has stopped by for an afternoon visit. Yes, the reading is quickly done, but your words resonating with something deeply personal in me – and that becoming a catalyst for hours of reflection – is so common as to be expected now. That is, of course, my conceit, but take it full measure (and I might guess that I’m not the only one, so you are indulging in so many connections that at least one part of “lonely” is much less than you think).

    Having said all that, I understand the struggle. It seems dysfunctional that I would still lack deep, personal connections in my new home…until I consider that those dearest to me – the connections I long to duplicate – were years and sometimes decades in the making.

    Finally, if Lindsey can offer to watch The Goonies then I can confess that you having no one to pick you up when you’re dizzy from donating blood made me sad (read: sparked my uniquely “testosterony” rescue instincts), so I would come pick you up. Could I wear a uniform a la Richard Gere “Officer and a Gentleman”-style?

    Until your next visit…

    1. Ben, you always, ALWAYS make me feel better!! And you are so right about the connections- I must be more patient!

      And you can pick me up after donating blood wearing anything you like! xx

  3. Love you Lex. I am worrying about figs too :S How the hell do those lucky people who seem to have everything figured out in their twenties do it?!? 2 friends engaged, 2 owning houses, 1 moving to NY for well-paid high-flying job…. and I’m about to move back in with my parents! We need to Skype xxxxxx

    1. I love you too, Zari, and I miss you a lot. I have this whole theory about life paths and I think we should talk about it very soon because of the aforementioned missing. xxxx

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