I know how it feels to be the one left behind.
Now I refuse to partake in anything that is inherently risky.
As a kid I would ride my bike standing up, no handed, going down hill. Now I’m hard-pressed to bike on anything that is not a completely flat surface.
I used to love riding roller coasters and feeling weightless as the car sped upside down. Now all I think about are the ‘what-ifs.’ What if the harnesses malfunction? What if the car slides off the tracks?
Climbing trees was always a great pastime. Sitting in trees, as close to the sky as I could get, was so soothing. Now I can barely make it three feet off the ground in an indoor climbing gym where there are safety measures in place all around me.
When I was 17 my dad left me behind. It wasn’t any fault of his own – he didn’t ask to have a mass on his brain. Now I have a hole in my heart. Losing loved ones changes you in ways you never thought it would.
Since the age of 17 I have been in a constant state of self-preservation. I know that I am missing out on experiences that could be life changing. I know that this isn’t what my dad wished for me to be. I also know that some things cannot be planned for; one day, I will leave people behind.
I’m not a complete hermit. My husband and I love camping and hiking and the great outdoors. I still do stuff, just very carefully. With a lot of planning involved.
I just don’t want to be the reason that my loved ones know how it feels to be the one left behind.