It took me five years to get back on the sidewalk. It was a Friday on the third Friday of the second month. It’s known as February to most people. This is the month I was born and then reborn years later. It was the month I celebrated my golden birthday. It was the time when my parents surprised me with a cake with frosting all the colors of the rainbow. It had to be held with two hands or else it would fall. I stopped thinking worms were good enough to be noticed as I blew out the candles.
My childhood was over.
I was a grown up and ready to capture its essence. I was ready to lose my way on the edges. I was a breathing, moving, and thinking adult. There were no robotic parts to me. You couldn’t peel the outer layer back and expose wires and a mechanical heart. I was fallible and vulnerable. I was not with strong hands and legs. This was not a myth in my head. It gripped me tight and exposed me to a weakness. I stayed there longer in this reality than I wanted.
My adulthood had started.
When the soles of my shoes touched the cement, I noticed the overdue repairs to fill the crack where weeds and dandelions grew. It was the first giant step I took, over that crack. I was back on that familiar, hard surface, ready for something different and brand new. I took more steps, forged ahead to get closer to the thing I desired, but could not name yet. There was no turning back, only commitment ahead of me as I braved this freedom, never wanting it to leave me again.