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Failing is a form of courage

A few months ago my roommate and I discovered a bat in the apartment for the third time. It was sleeping and we noticed a trail of dark liquid on the wall beneath it. I figured it just had a healthy digestive system. We prepared for the battle of removing it from the apartment and into the woods. My roommate was standing on an upside down laundry basket, on top of the piano stool, wearing gloves and wielded my Toy Story 2 beach towel as a weapon to grab it and wrap it up.

I stood by with a small trash can ready to cover it and take it outside. We had done this before, except this time, it was dead. My roommate leaped off the top of our makeshift ladder screaming, her arms wide as if she were the bat ready to take flight, but instead fell on me, and began to have a panic attack. Eyes were wide, chest showed signs of hyperventilating, nostrils flaring.

I wasn’t 100% convinced the bat was dead and lost my cool. Extremely annoyed and concerned the bat was going to have its revenge. I shook my finger at her and icily said “You need to chill the fuck out and get your shit together.” It was a two pronged approach because I was not only angry at her for jumping on me but didn’t need her to pass out from fear either.

She snapped out of it and we discovered that it was completely dead. My cat must have swiped its belly while it was swooping because we could see each delicate intestine. What I had seen on the wall was just the largest of many blood stains on our walls throughout the apartment. A few weeks later I saw a remaining smear of blood over my bedroom doorway and decided to leave it as my Passover blood.

I see now that adulthood tries to make you into one of the four upon entering “the real world.” You end up on the floor hyperventilating, super annoyed and controlling, dead on the wall with your guts open for the world to see, or the beast who takes out anything standing in her way and ends the day casually licking the blood off her claws.

This morbid scenario has led me to realize I don’t want to allow the “real world” to make me into any of the four. I want to be able to bend without breaking, to be sad without despairing, to be vulnerable without being needy, and to be strong without cruelty. In the end it could just mean having the courage to try and fail every day for the rest of my life.

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