I’ve grown fond of the dark. It’s unknown creepers; it’s intensified sounds. These things used to scare me; now they excite me. I feel so much more powerful at night now. I don’t know why I used to be afraid. I think it’s because of all the things I used to notice without my eyes getting in the way. Everything else became so much louder and tactile. It was frightening to be so engaged; to be forced to be so engaged. But as I’ve grown I’ve grown less afraid of situations where I have no control. I’ve learned to take solace in myself; in being attached to the one thing I own- my choices. I have that ability at night as I do during the day. It does not change. Nor do the things around me. I just see what I want to see during the day. How deceptive the light is. It changes things according to the desires of the mind. I see, or pay attention to what I want to. The night affords no such luxury. My eyes are taken from me. I can not deceive myself. And I’m forced to feel and smell and Listen– I am forced to receive. And that is what was so frightening to me. Receiving. Allowing myself to be connected. It takes trust; trust in myself. I didn’t have that. I hated myself growing up. I let myself go just to get away from her. But I’ve come to the conclusion that I’m pretty interesting- If I can’t completely respect myself then I’ve found a reason to want to learn more. I’m open now to understanding her- this odd creature I’ve become and am still becoming. And she’s anything but boring. She’s intriguing. And I like the challenges she poses. I know myself now from the tip of my curiosity; I understand myself through what I’ve seen of my choices and my reactions to things. I’ve allowed all of those truths to be laid out in front of me, like the yarn in a loom before weaving. And now I’m interested enough to begin crafting my tapestry. I don’t know where I will be in five years. But I’m confident of my material. That I did not have in the past. It’s a gift I’ve recently been given and I’m thankful for it. I’m not certain I gave it to myself, but I know that I allowed myself to receive it. It very well could have been offered before and I’d turned it away. Perhaps it wasn’t wrapped right, or came from the wrong person. But here in the dark I’ve learned to see with parts of me that don’t require light and form. I feel my way and without the prejudices of light I’m experiencing an ability I did not know I had. I’d always been a blocker, a hider, a cave dweller. It’s such an amazing world outside my shell. And of course all the sensations frightened me- they seemed so intense, like they were bombarding me, attacking me. But no, they were just trying to touch me. And I was so used to hiding from touch that I interpreted them as attacks. They were not. They were attempts at connecting with me. And as fearful as I still am of being touched, I’m not going back in that shell. The feel of the wind, the sun, the chill of this autumn air- these things are too exciting to miss. I feel like a child, experiencing life for the first time. And it is scary. I know, because of my experiences, not everything that will want to touch me is benevolent. And not everything that is benevolent will be something that works for me. I’m just done suffocating in my cave. I like how alive I feel. I like the tingle on my skin. And I like how powerful I feel when I don’t let my fears make my decisions for me.