The Middle Has Never Been My Home


All in or all out. Hot or cold. Lovers or strangers. I ricochet from one extreme to the other, flying between polar opposites, refusing to believe middle-of-the-road is a place I could reside. I don't work that way. Lukewarm has never been my preference, even-keeled has never been an adjective next to my name.

Stubborn, passionate, hardheaded...these are the words they put next to mine. You can find me in the North Pole or the South Pole, but never along the Equator. I'm sure it's nice there, 70 degrees year round, perfectly pleasant and comfortable, but that's never been my home.

Here's the thing about being a girl of extremes: you'll be intimidating. You'll be exhausting. You'll be misunderstood. You'll get asked a lot of questions about why you can't just calm down, can't just take it easy, can't just let things be. And you won't know how to respond. Why would you want to live a half-hearted life? you wonder. Why would staying in the median be better?

Sure, the medians are grassy and full of wildflowers with a perfect view of the traffic flying by on either side. The medians may seem safe, may seem like a haven, but they're just a place you get stuck.

The road is where things happen. You have to move. You may come to abrupt stops, or you may fly faster than you're meant to, but that's living. You may have to U-turn or slam on your brakes, you may miss a beat and hear honks from nearby cars, but that's living. Median living? Living on the equator? Trying to stay safe and sound? That's not really living.

I want the extremes. Call me crazy all you want. I want to sip drinks when they're still steaming and scald my tongue because I just couldn't wait one second longer. I want to run into the crashing waves even though they'll freeze my toes because I finally found an ocean this year and I don't want to miss this moment.

I want to speak my mind, even when my thoughts are tangled and my words are wandering. I want to be present, in the moment, whole-heartedly there in every scene of my life. I want to merge into the speeding traffic, avoiding nothing, feeling everything, responding and reacting as I go, learning all the while.

I want to embrace that this, this hot and cold, up and down, high and low self, is who I am.