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June 2, 2016

How to Reclaim our Wild.

Image by Michael Hull via Unsplash

Sometimes, I feel like my life has become too tame.

Like I’m too domesticated.

Rooted.

Middle-aged.

I love my kids, my husband, and our home. But I miss my younger self. The one who drove cross-country more than once, who dyed her hair burgundy, who scattered jewel-toned candles across her studio apartment, listened to loud music and crushed on lost boys.

When we feel too tame, when we feel like we’ve lost our wild, when we get tangled in a current of longing and loneliness, here is what we can do:

Over and over again, we can come back to ourselves. To the part of us that remains unchanged, our essence.

We can learn to love ourselves ferociously.

We can walk by the ocean and absorb its ancient lessons.

We can allow ourselves to uncoil and trust that everything is okay or will be soon.

We can get in our car or hop a bus or train and ride for a spell, not knowing where we’ll end up.

Or we can sit still enough that we can feel the vibration of our own hearts, and thank this jungle of body that is ours for just this little while.

We can meet friends in warm coffee shops and wear long, dangling scarves and painted toenails.

We can write beautiful words and sit by the salty sea and soak in our own aloneness.

We can whisper secrets to each other that haven’t been uttered in years.

We can paint our walls bright and scatter candles all around.

We can cozy up to life’s uncertainty.

We can talk with old friends and make new ones.

We can sip warm tea and breathe and listen to the world humming around us.

We can keep coming back to the moment, even when our minds are rushing trains.

We can listen to music that makes us want to kiss, and we can write steamy words.

We can remember what it was like to feel young, and to know that we are not yet old.

We can walk into the woods and breathe with the trees.

We can squeeze life harder and plan less.

We can sleep naked, and let the sun wake us up wearing only the skin we were born in.

We can howl at the moon and imagine what it would feel like beneath our bare toes.

We can remember all the lives we’ve already tucked into this one, and wonder what stories we’ll accumulate next.

Just because we’re domesticated doesn’t mean we’re not still wild.

 

Author: Lynn Shattuck

Editor: Catherine Monkman

Image: Michael Hull/Unsplash

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