Do you know the energetic nervousness you feel when you are about to take a step into something unknown, thrilling, and potentially fabulous? Not quite anxious but you are still nearly paralyzed with anticipation. You feel as if the air you breathe is filled with danger yet it makes you powerful like you could conquer the world. You posses the intimidating knowledge that the next moment of your life will change everything and all you have to do is move. It is an emotion of trepidation tempered with awe.
I am familiar with those butterflies fluttering around my belly, forcing their way into my chest with the intention to make my heart stop. There were days in my life when I could sense every muscle in my body taut and ready to react as soon as my brain gave the command. Good memories.
Like the night of a final performance at the Everett Performing Arts Center. I was dressed in costume and makeup was applied. I huddled behind the curtain waiting for my turn to walk out on to stage to follow the choreography and deliver my scripted line of dialog. It was only a bit part but still a fun experience. Closing night was even more nauseating than opening night because it was a sold out audience and I knew most of my friends and family were in attendance.
Or the day my buddies took me cliff diving. Clothes left behind at the car, we walked barefoot to the river wearing nothing but our swim trunks. Steve and Nate were the first into the water. I found myself alone at the edge of the rocks looking 20 feet down into a section of river where the current was slower and the water was deeper than other parts both upstream and downstream. A long breath, a small leap, and a descent that lasted no more than two seconds but felt like eternity.
There was the snowy morning I dressed up in a rented tux and stood in a hall outside the sanctuary, awaiting the moment to stand before everyone I knew to say "I do" to the girl with whom I had fallen in love.
And the time I spent in a small office with the people who would decide if I was qualified to accept a promotion that would have doubled my income. I did my best to answer their questions and paint myself as the ideal candidate. Not to mention the following days not knowing new whether I would be offered the position or if they chose to go with someone else.
Again recently. A first draft, re-write, proofreading, and editing. Save it, title it, attach it to an email. Those few seconds with my mouse cursor hovered over the send button to submit my first freelancing opportunity.
These are little glimmers of reality that shape who we were, who we are, and who we will become.
You know these feelings. Of stage dives and mosh pits. Of first dates and first kisses. Of waves crashing into the beach's shore. Of roasting marshmallows over a campfire and watching a meteor shower. Of singing songs with a bunch of friends and an acoustic guitar. Of merging onto the freeway at the beginning of a road trip. Of the roar from a waterfall and the soft chirping of crickets. Of city lights and sunsets. Of trying a new restaurant that quickly becomes your favorite place to eat. Of dancing in the rain. Of taking a stand for justice. Of checking an item off your bucket list.
That sensation is back but I cannot explain why. It is like I am dancing on a live wire. I have had that feeling gripping my nerves all day today, as if I am about to do something bold and reckless and amazing. Problem is, I do not know what that thing is.
But the vibe is there. Pure unbridled excitement on the verge of ... of ... well?
I have felt like that all day and the reason is beyond what I am able to explain. Yet I wouldn't trade for anything. This. The butterflies, the giddiness, the awkward wondering of what is about to happen. This reminds me that I am alive.