Friday, September 18, 2009


"I can’t stand by the side
And watch this life pass me by
So unhappy
But safe as could be

So what if it hurts me?
So what it I break down?
So what if this world just throws me off the edge,
My feet run out of ground?
I gotta find my place
I wanna hear my sound
Don’t care about all the pain in front of me
'Cause I'm just trying to be happy
I just wanna be happy, yeah"

I still think Leona Lewis's new single, "Happy," is a lot of pomp and circumstance, but she makes an excellent point. Everyone is running scared. Afraid to fall. Afraid to fail. Afraid to love. Afraid to live. Hiding behind something -- school, jobs, friends, judgemental parents, relationships that no longer work, fear of rejection, fear of the unknown, their own shortcomings and deadly sins projected onto other people.

I grew up in a world where people, in general, played it safe. But thankfully, chances were taken at pivotal times. My mother took a major one when, over the objections of my father, she moved the family from the Virgin Islands to Florida because she wanted a better future for her children. She took another one a year after divorcing my father by moving from Kissimmee, Florida, to Atlanta. In between Florida and Atlanta, and after, she more or less played life safe, but I don't give her enough credit for the bold moves she's made. I'm not sure that she ever found happy. I'm not sure that I have. I'm not sure that it even exists. (Sorry, Leona.) But I shudder to think of what my life would have been had I not been raised on the U.S. mainland. (Note to self: Be sure to thank mom.) As for my own leaps of faith, I do know that I am a lot better off, more content, than I would have been had I not taken them.

Romantically, I'd like to think I've generally been pretty fearless. It hasn't always worked out for me, but at least there are no what ifs in my life. Despite being knocked down over and over, I'm not ready to wave the white flag just yet. I always used to say that I was looking for someone who would accept me for who I am, not for who I could be or should be. Scratch that. I've found people like that. But their cowardice always gets in the way. Now I want more. I'm looking for someone who lives without fear, someone with whom I can take those flying leaps of faith. Are you out there?
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