I’m having a bit of existential conundrum.
You might think it has something to do with not being accepted into the masters program at Mason, but you’d be mistaken.
I am in full on ‘What does anything actually mean?’ mode because of this moment.
On a sunny and warm yet breezy Monday, YBW and I went out for a shoot day.
We shot loads of photos.
We walked for miles.
It’s been raining a great deal over the last two weeks so I wore my monogrammed rain boots because I knew trails would be muddy.
When we came to Young’s Branch, (a small creek that feeds into Bull Run) I made the choice to go through the creek while YBW went across the bridge.
(He later told me that he shot me in sport mode so he could capture everything in case I slipped and fell.)
As you can see, I did not fall.
That said, I did not come out of the creek unscathed.
My right rain boot leaked.
My foot was ankle deep in cold muddy water INSIDE MY BOOT!
I was completely and totally flabbergasted!
In what realm do rain boots fill with water!?
You see, I am of the mind that I am invincible when wearing my rain boots.
Quite sincerely, I have this theory that my rain boots make me invincible.
Meanwhile the rain boots are all, Haha nope!
This feeling of confusion has been with me since the incident.
This feeling of questioning everything.
Existentialism, you bitch.
I know I’m a fully-functioning adult person. Logically and rationally I understand I am far from invincible. But when I wear my rain boots I feel like a superhero. I feel safe and protected and capable of absolutely anything.
They are amazingly comfy. They have my monogram, therefore specifically mine.
With these boots on my feet, I am a total BAMF ready to tackle any messy or wet thing that comes at me.
I am invincible!
It really is as simple as that.
YBW and I were talking about it yesterday and he reassured me he didn’t think it was as childish as I’m imagining.
He provided the analogy of spending an afternoon washing and waxing your car and feeling like it drives faster or better when you’re finished.
I mean, I’ve never experienced that feeling, but I understand it in concept.
I talked with my precious sister in law, Sally this morning.
She used the word innocence in response to this conversation.
That rang true in me.
She spoke of being jaded. Of losing one’s ability to move about freely.
As we become adults, we are jaded. We do spend a great deal of time looking about for things designed to trip us up, or keep us from growing or doing or becoming. We’re defensive, and somewhat fearful about how we move about in the world. But that’s a terrible way to be! I mean, paying attention to one’s safety is paramount, but functioning from a place of defense and disillusion isn’t a healthy (or enjoyable) way to go through life. But I understood her point.
She used the word freedom.
When she talked of freedom and innocence the word that came to me was autonomy.
I’m sure I took away something from our conversation that she did not intend. Because she used the word freedom as a synonym for autonomy. But that’s not exactly how I meant it.
I looked like this to me.
A child becomes autonomous when they’re ‘big enough’ to do things with more independence.
How is this autonomy applicable to rain boots?
How often does a child pull on rain boots with the express purpose of jumping in puddles?
They are using their independence to make smart choices. Their autonomy provides opportunities for exploration of the world around them. Their innocence encourages their joy and wonder.
I cling to that bit of childlike innocence in my rain boot invincibility theory. However disillusioned I am. However defensive I am. However fearful of my freedom I may be, I will always strive to foster my own sense of joy and wonder at the world. I will use my autonomy to provide myself opportunities to explore and engage the world around me.
I will have moments of disillusion. Of feeling defensive. Of being so jaded I neglect to see the wonder around me.
But I choose to actively seek out the joy and wonder in this world. To hold on to the remains of my childlike innocence. To use my autonomy to the best of my ability.
My rain boots did not make me invincible the other day.
You know what? That’s not entirely true.
My rain boots were not invincible the other day.
I’m solving that problem in two ways.
The first is to seal the seam on the boot I have.
The second is I ordered a new pair while they were 50% off!
Do I need two pairs of monogrammed rain boots?
Two different fashion opportunities for invincibility FTW!
I am a woman who’s lived through forty-eight years of life. Some of it good. Some of it bad. Some of it just plain indifferent. I’ve spend enough time feeling defensive and fearful. I’ve spent enough time worrying about my freedom and autonomy. I’ve lived through and come out the other side of every single thing this world has thrown at me.
I have not lost my sense of wonder.
I cling tightly to my joy. To my gratitude. To my childlike innocence.
And dammit! I am invincible when I wear my rain boots!