Learning to Fly

A reflection on young love and taking chances

I watched as her eyes swung through the room getting stuck on mine. She saw me try, unsuccessfully, to look away. There was a gravity to her, a force I couldn't understand. It drew me in and sought to envelope me; I had no choice but to let it. She was the one. The one who could complete me and just as easily completely destroy me. The beauty and power of her gaze captivated me for only few seconds. I felt helpless, weightless, and timeless as our eyes remained locked.

As if to torment me, she met my clumsy, stolen peek with a smile and a toss of her shimmering brown hair. Without hesitation or reservation my heart became hers forever, or a really long time, or at least until the bell rang for the next period. I swore I loved her; I didn't even know what love was. A teenage boy could fall in love with his shadow if it looked suggestively at him.

I would fall in love with nearly every girl I met; never really falling out of love, just continuously falling. Falling hurts; it can break bones and leave scars. Falling can leave you crippled with fear and willing to accept an existence free from the danger and its rewards. The pain a constant reminder to stay behind the guard rails, clipped in securely to the safety and comfort of mediocrity.

Perhaps that's how we end up in bad places in our lives: comfortable, free from harm, never rising above a safe height. We wear down the sharp edges on ourselves and others around us, fearing the fall. We shy away from the pain. Earlier falls leave us so sensitive we forget real love hurts.

That's never what I wanted, but it's almost what I got. Instead, I picked myself back up. I climbed to the highest point I could and challenged myself to fall... I watched as her eyes swung through the room getting stuck on mine. She saw me try, unsuccessfully, to look away. There was a gravity to her, a force I couldn't understand. It drew me in and sought to envelope me; I had no choice but to let it. She was the one. The one who could complete me and just as easily completely destroy me. The beauty and power of her gaze captivated me for only few seconds. I felt helpless, weightless, and timeless as our eyes remained locked.

As if to torment me, she met my clumsy, stolen peek with a smile and a toss of her shimmering brown hair. Without hesitation or reservation my heart became hers forever, or a really long time, or at least until the bell rang for the next period. I swore I loved her; I didn't even know what love was. A teenage boy could fall in love with his shadow if it looked suggestively at him.

I would fall in love with nearly every girl I met; never really falling out of love, just continuously falling. Falling hurts; it can break bones and leave scars. Falling can leave you crippled with fear and willing to accept an existence free from the danger and its rewards. The pain a constant reminder to stay behind the guard rails, clipped in securely to the safety and comfort of mediocrity.

Perhaps that's how we end up in bad places in our lives: comfortable, free from harm, never rising above a safe height. We wear down the sharp edges on ourselves and others around us, fearing the fall. We shy away from the pain. Earlier falls leave us so sensitive we forget real love hurts.

That's never what I wanted, but it's almost what I got. Instead, I picked myself back up. I climbed to the highest point I could and challenged myself to fall...

Created by Brad Lhotsky around June 2014.