ice skating
12.12.19 | 8:57 pm

"here is my psychological advice for you, tia: you have to fall."

i started out the evening simply trying to balance myself on the ice skates -- my very first time -- and hugging the side of the makeshift rink. i took tiny little baby steps, told angela "je suis un enfant," held onto her arm and her hand as we slowly, slowly made a circle.

the entire time, i couldn't stop laughing. the children around me even tried to help -- one sweet boy brought me the elephant version of the thing you hold on to in order to keep your balance. i laughed again, said, "non, merci," and continued with my tiny steps, barely moving compared to everyone else.

as angela skated gracefully in circles, javier decided to help me -- but i lost my balance, and he lost his, and onto the ground i fell, laughing loudly as everyone asked me, "ça va?" and i replied, between breaths, "oui oui, ça va, ça va."

i fell two more times, but got up again, and slowly but surely, i gained (a tiny, little bit of) speed, and i let go of the rail, and i could go in circles too -- not as well as the small children, certainly not as well as the adults, but i was so proud of myself that it didn't matter.

when we finished and started walking back to angela's car, i literally skipped, hopped, and jumped, and i hummed and sang out loud, and i practiced speaking french with them, saying certain words over and over for pronunciation's sake, and i told javier, "je comprends plus que tu penses," which is true, by the way.

he asked me in french, "where are your drugs, tia? share with me," and i laughed because, honestly, i was in such an unbelievably good mood that it almost felt as if i were high.

and as i walked home from the bus stop, i couldn't help but think:

i am so lucky to be here.
i am so grateful to be here.

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