The room was small but not uncomfortable.
I sat on a gray twill couch, flanked gently by summer throw pillows. Plucky pick-me-ups from the clearance section at TJ Maxx generously decorated tall walls of faux shiplap.
“Kiera, what do you want your future to look like?” my therapist asked.
I stared blankly at the dark Berber carpet and paused — not because I lacked words to say. No, no. Rare occurrence, that.
I can see it.
My now, my past, my future. A spherical whole of encompassing color and light and hope.
Imagine, if you will, an amusement park at night. Bright neon lights break through crisp darkness, spinning smears of color, a million tiny lights resurrecting the clunky, lifeless Ferris wheel. Nostalgic scents of funnel cakes and hot turkey legs, salty popcorn and hardy, fragrant roses that climb trellises and light poles. Screams of fear and laughter and glee, the click-click-click of the lift hill on a roller coaster, clanking gears of carnival games all funneled into indiscernible chaos. We spin faster. We climb higher. We drop into weightlessness. Butterflies and adrenaline compete: Who will win? The nerves that keep us grounded or the rush that catapults us?
“So,” she repeats, “your future?”
I want the brightest lights in the darkest dark.
I want indiscernible chaos and the silence of listening to a million thoughts.
I want nostalgia and memories and the tiny nothings of the everyday.
I want laughter, so much laughter, and headaches from when I cry instead.
I want the fear of falling and fluttering nerves and the loss of gravity when I drop without notice.
I want the rush of being scared, and I want to do it anyway.
(And I want funnel cakes.)
My future isn’t so much an If. It’s a When, plaited intricately with generous strands of the past and the now.
The brightness and bravery and brilliance is in choosing the future that fits the complexity of me.