By Ashley Dane
I’m giving up on the white knight. I'm giving up on someone slaying my dragons for me, keeping me safe. I’m that someone. I’m giving up not believing I can do it myself. Giving that up has made me less interested in romance. Go figure. I mean, it makes sense. Wrapping security up with love. I am giving up these ideas that a man will fix me. I never needed fixing. Or a man.
I am giving up the idea that at 52, I am staring down the barrel. Motherfucker, everything is staring down my barrel, not the other way around. How did I twist it all up for so long? I’m the force to be reckoned with here. I’m giving up being anything else.
I’m giving up dark nights of the soul. A palm reader in Bali told me that the hard part of my life was over. That was right before it got really hard. I’m giving up palm readers. I’m redefining what it means to dive in the deep end. I’m giving up anyone who can’t go there with me, who is not familiar with the bends and the free dive and the cool, dark depths where truth lives.
I gave up cookies at bedtime finally. I don’t miss them. I don’t. What I miss is missing them. Who is this me who does not eat cookies before bed? I miss the yearning of many things. I miss the wishing and wanting that kept me up at night. Who is this cookieless me, giddy at the thought of an empty bed? I’m giving up the ghost who lived in the shell of wishing, trading it in for a quiet now with everything on top.
I’m giving up the little ways that smallness keeps me on a short leash. The tiny voice that whispers. The one that says- You don’t have much youth left, probably time to panic now. The one that says- you won’t have the money to live the life you want. It says- with a man, maybe. But not alone. Who do you think you are? You can't do this alone. Whisper-whisper, I give you up. Menopause is my superpower. Gray hair is my superpower. I give up this insane idea that age means diminishment. I’m giving that up for all my sisters. Sisters are my superpower.
I’m giving up knowing anything. I’m giving up any and all defenses. I’m giving up wanting to turn heads. I’m giving up the lowest hanging fruit to sit in the high branches of all that is good. I’m mad and in love with this feast of friends, this beautiful growing circle that lights up every dark corner and tames every fear- fears that I gave up when I said yes to this sacred flame of sisterhood. Yes to this maternal heart that scoops up every hurt thing it sees. Yes to the yesness of death in everything, calling me out to dance, love, create, fuck, laugh, play. I’m giving up needing security and denying death its rightful seat at my table, as if you or you or you might save me from the inevitable with your arms and promises and that lovely flush of hormones that tell me I will never die. Falling in love is just running into the arms of death. That isn’t a bad thing but don’t get it twisted. I have no idea what I’m doing. I’m giving up on having a plan or any notion of what to do next. I’m just leaping. Trusting the net will appear.
I’m one big bright shooting star of yes,
making a wish and granting it
as I fall into the open arms
of my own heart.