I remember being ten years old, standing, arms raised, left toe pointed in front of me, poised, confident, balanced. I would throw my arms upward, flip blindly backward, and land firmly on a four inch wide beam. Poised, confident, balanced.

Lately, I feel like all I am doing is flipping blindly and falling hard. My balance is shaky, the beam has gotten a whole lot smaller and much further away. Landing results in bumps, bruises, aches, and pain.

I’m not as agile as I once was. Even with age and experience, though I’m constantly learning and trying to be flexible, I’m still so, so fragile. My hurt aches a little bit deeper than it once did. My bruises show up a little darker and my pain radiates through my bones, my heart, my soul.

But you can’t learn to fly without falling a few times. And I once was a bright-eyed, determined and confident little girl who had the courage to flip backward blindly. I’ve fallen, more times than I care to recount. And each fall has left a permanent scar. But those scars are proof that I keep trying. With enough effort, I will regain my balance, and I will learn, again, how to land on my feet.

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