The Crab Sits by the Edge of the Sea
longing to stretch her legs, run wild and free
longing to reach across the world, at once grounded and walking on air
streaking like a flame, effortlessly adventurous.
She then returns to her self. To her shell.
Remember crab, that you are water
never compromising your duality, for mediocrity.
I watched as he took one, timid, half step forward, while his torso held him back. He looked lost, in a sea of quickly moving bodies, he seemed to be swaying steadily back and forth. It was the start of the evening rush hour, and between the passing suits, the tourists and the tour guides attempting to wrangle them into the Empire State Building, the street was hectic and anonymous, New York. He was, at once, approaching each oncoming person, while recoiling from the crowd. I had headphones in but I heard him address the man walking in front of me. He was soft-spoken and seemed prepared for rejection, but he spoke with direction. The man in front of me knew he was being spoken to, just as I would, and chose to ignore him anyway. He was not just speaking or addressing, but conducting a gentle and dignified plea for help. The man in front of me brushed past him and I prepared my body, my heart, to do the same.
Triumphant and exhausted, but mostly heartbroken, I graduated from college, I had felt as though the last few months- or maybe few years- had drained me of my vitality and spontaneity. When my heart was shattered, I existed. All I could do was maintain my life, and when graduation stripped me of my surroundings and my routine, I was stunned by the empty or openness of my life. Where classes, anxiety, and activities once structured me, I now had nothing but freedom, and fear.
I set out to fill my life categorically. I built around friends, family, and passions. Eventually, I stretched to make room for work that I wasn’t passionate about, exercises in strength and creativity, and even fun. As the months turned into years, my life grew full. While I noticed that my heart broken self left no room for romance or dating, I never made the choice to find that space.
I stopped feeling broken.