In the Wild

One of my favorite artists, P!nk, was recently honored with the Icon Award at the iHeartRadio music awards. Standing on the stage, with award in hand, she paused briefly before saying, “I usually do try to joke or be self-deprecating in these moments, but I want to be a better friend to myself tonight, so I would like to try and say something honest.”

A better friend to myself. Yes, me too.

She continued. “Every room I walk into, my heart walks in first. Every lyric that I write is my heart crying, raging, hoping, screaming, pleading,” she said. “You have watched me do this, sifting through life’s messiness for almost 25 years. Some of you find what I do annoying, and some of you find it brave, and I just find it necessary.” She went on to say, “As human beings we are vulnerable from the time we’re born until the time we die, and many of us spend our entire lives running from that.”

As a child, I felt the need to run from vulnerability. Down the hallway and straight ahead was the door to my bedroom. With pastel pink walls and pink, white, and navy stenciled borders, my room was designed especially for me. Billowing puffy curtain panels, pulled to the side, perfectly accentuated my comforter. Numerous pillows and stuffed animals created a softness, generating a peaceful space for my great escape.

I believe I was a young girl with an overwhelming heaping of emotions. Instead of developing thick skin and toughness in moments of vulnerability, I became more sensitive and insecure. Crying came easily to me, and I began to feel overwhelmed by small things. Unsure how my big feelings would be received, I learned to take care of them by myself, alone in my room. A pillow became my comfort as I could hit, scream, and cry into it, muffling out any evidence of being uncontained.

When I started having children, I realized that children have minimal to no innate boundaries. Mine, in particular, seemed to live beyond any real or perceived boundaries. Containment seemed to further frustrate them, and safe spaces were often despised. They were teaching me quickly, they would not be tamed. Who created these wild ones? Moving into their teenage years, I often wonder what I might have missed if I had been able to subdue them as young children, just as I saw fit.

As an adult, I cannot help but run toward vulnerability. I have learned that although it felt safe to hide the parts of me that were different from the status quo that surrounded me, I much prefer the me that is untamed.

Sometimes it’s lonely out here in the wild.

I am a woman with an overwhelming heaping of emotions. I am sensitive and at times insecure. I cry easily, especially when I feel rejection and betrayal. I still can feel overwhelmed by small things. But I have come to realize that the pillow that used to contain parts of me is long gone and I have chosen to freely be me. This is how I am living my one wild and precious life—leading with my heart, into the wild.

Bethany Cabell, a lover of simplicity, is often inspired to write by her everyday relationships. A highly distracted procrastinator mixed with a tender-hearted feeler, she can be a little bit unpredictable on any given day. Bethany calls Texas home where she navigates the messy and beautiful path of parenting two boys with unique challenges. She loves to enjoy life in authentic spaces alongside those she holds dear.