She wanted to disappear, but she knew just how asinine it was to even think that such an idea was plausible. She could not disappear. She was already here. She was already alive, and she had already done what she had done.
She felt foolish for not having had the foresight to realize the upheaval that would ensue. She felt guilty for the havoc that seemed to be unfolding. And yet as a plant grows toward the sunlight or is shaped by a strong wind, she had always thought she was only doing what was natural by reaching toward the elements that had given her life.
Yet, she grew weary and doubt often took over as exhaustion set in. She felt like biting her nails off or scraping her skin or closing her eyes—until the world dissolved.
She knew she could not disappear, and although she knew that she could not make the world disappear, the illusion often felt more attainable than the reality—or at least, more salient than the hope that she could neither see nor touch but that she nonetheless engaged to either cloak or garnish the reality.
And what was this reality? The consequences.
The myriad of consequences tumbling and flooding out into the open—like swarms of flowers and bodies and rocks and fish by the thousands, pouring over the Niagara. She felt as though she was standing, but really drowning, at the bottom, expected to catch it all with arms wide open as everything pummeled downward, racing with intractable gravity toward her.
And although she was not the one who chose to be standing there, she had chosen to remain there. So, all she could do was tell herself, hold on, this is what you were waiting for all these years.
This is what you went looking for.
Yet as all the debris and life twirled and spiraled toward her, as she gasped to breathe amidst the pounding of the deluge, she realized that although she had been waiting for all these years, although she had gone looking for something, this was not necessarily all that she had ever dreamed of.
Someday, she thought to herself, I will be able to move on from here, perhaps downstream or upstream, just anywhere else but here. For now, though, I must remain. It is the only way I will ever know that I did all that I could do to set myself free.
For to be free means that we must, at times, use such freedom to stay put, to dig in, to stand firm—to choose to be where you do not want to be, because it is the only way to get to where you want to be.