Walking the Tight Rope

Balance is an essential part of life, and one I have struggled a great deal with. I am by birth a Gemini, the twins. That in and of itself speaks of my dualistic nature. We are considered indecisive, lazy, restless, and inconsistent. These traits can and have certainly been a facet of my personality, but they do not define me. There is so much more that makes up the beautiful paradox that is me.

Geminis are also considered expressive, gifted in communication, vivacious and easily adaptable. These too are facets of my personality. They also do not define me. The human spirit is infite and wondrous. The human experience is one of life and death, peace and conflict, day and night, beauty and disaster. To say these opposing forces do not exist in one place would be sheer denial. 

It is these very dualties that produce the growth we were placed here for. It is through our trials we are made strong. It is through our times of waiting that patience is perfected. It is in the darkness that we learn to appreciate the glorious light of day. 

I believe there is a balance we must learn to strike, a precarious place in which we must find harmony. It brings to mind the art of the funambalist; he who has mastered the art of walking. 

Standing high in the air, he must learn to position his weight in such a way that he is able to walk sure footedly over the vast expanse of sky. The least slip could be fatal. 

I imagine myself, heart racing, frozen in time as I look at the ground below. I imagine the fear that grips my heart. I feel a knot harden in the pit of my stomach as I imagine myself descending further and further down into the harsh, blackened streets below. 

Everything inside of me says to turn back, but I have come this far. Leaving would mean I had resigned myself to defeat. It would mean I would never know what awaited on the other side. I am curious by nature, and even more so, I am a conquerer. There is a drive deep within me to strive for greatness, to succeed, and to overcome the fear that has held me back far too long. 

Sometimes in jest, I will recall a time I would not participate in competitive sports. Why? Because I could not stand the thought of losing. Looking back, I know I had a crippling fear of failure. I needed to be the best. 

Maybe I needed approval. Maybe I was afraid of disappointing those I loved. Either way, my unwillingness to compete left me hanging in the balance. I was standing high at the top of a skyscraper, foot forward, and could not.. would not, move forward.  

Even then I must have known in my soul that my destiny was bigger than me. I was made to fly, but afraid of sky. I was a bird with crippled wings, so I stayed on the ground, looking up and longing for flight.

Today it occurred to me, I have stood in wait far too long. This is my moment! 

Placing one foot in front of the other, I shift my weight and look ahead. Down is not an option, therefore I refuse to glance below. In order to reach the other side, I must keep my focus sharp.  Arms out at my side, fingers pointed, I feel the rope spin beneath my dainty feet. The faster I move, the faster it spins. 

This magnificent walk is one of intuition and faith. It is one that requires great balance, skill and attention. I will sit in indecision no longer. There is a sense of satisfaction and fulfilment that replaces my fear, and I sense this precarious walk is very familiar. There is some place deep within me that knows this walk well. What could it be?…

 It is indeed the walk of only the greatest of men. It is indeed a walk that I was destined for. 

“Being on the tightrope is living; everything else is waiting.”

~Karl Wallenda

Written by: Tiffany Jackson

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