Yesterday I came upon several realizations of our fragility- a 3.4 earthquake during my job interview (which could literally shake an impression of me into them)- an amazing talk on Love by my friend Kathryn James(in which she discussed the fragility of relationships) and then a break-in at my apartment complex where a homeless man jumped the fence and walked into our (open??) back door where he was found lurking around our laundry room.
With each of these events, I was left with a strong sense (and fear!) of my own fragility. And-by the time I got back to my apartment (police lights flashing-landlords denying responsibility)-I realized how easy it is for things to be knocked off-balance.
Even if I could do ALL of the right things (prep for my interview, set up love relationships with people whom I think I can trust, deadbolt my locks), it could all come crashing down and leave me vulnerable, broken-hearted, or even physically damaged. I start to question the solidity of my life-why DON’T I have a boyfriend/lover to comfort me during such times, why DON’T I have job security, why DO I tolerate a landlord who puts me in harm’s way with his ineptitude while collecting a fat check every month??
So, I freak out, then send off a dozen frantic text messages before finally processing over a nice glass of red with my neighbor Jill. And, suddenly, things begin to reveal themselves. My biggest (6’4″) guy friend comes over to strut around outside to show the predator I’m not alone, another great guy sends me a text where he researched building codes to show me what my landlord had to fix by law, my amazing yoga friend who is going through her own drama called to check up on me.
This morning, after a nightmare ruined my sleep and I slept through my 6 a.m. wake up call for yoga (Sorry Magnolia!!), I sat and evaluated the situation.
I realized there is strength in fragility.
And I realize that the simple, human need of reaching out when you feel powerless shows the solidity of the community you have built around you. And, when you need it most, they can-they do, support you.
It is in this where I find my lesson:
The earthquake reminded me to stock up on things that I needed to(Earthquake kit)- and the shock of it probably made a memorable impression on my interviewers (who had 5 other candidates to meet with)- the talk on Love reminded me that I am the one who sets up my boundaries-and the support from the amazing men in my life reminds me that no one is going to sit by and let me get hurt.
So, I check the batteries in my flashlights/ watch “True Romance” (arguably the best love story ever)/ and schedule a trip to see a man who’s been asking me to visit for awhile.
As a result, I have a new respect for my own fragility and what exposing it to others allows it to offer. And, while I do not have a fishnet leg lamp in my window, I DO have many pairs of fishnets to put on as I strut out, confident into the world and in my community (albeit with pepper spray in my pocket).