Monday, November 28, 2011


I've been thinking about balloons, lately. I even changed my blogger background to sort of illustrate what I sometimes can't explain. 

Sometimes I feel like as we grow older, there is so much change. People change, grow, become. It's what makes our humanness so incredible. It's also scary, because who you are isn't always ready at hand. I often feel as though I'm trying to gather all of these different layers and pieces together of myself, and every once in a while, I lose my grasp and can no longer see some parts of me that were once so central. 

These thoughts obviously made me think of balloons. When you're a kid, they tie the balloons to your wrist or stroller so that you don't lose/let go of your balloon. It's quite brilliant, really. 

We might hold on to these "figurative" balloons/pieces of ourselves to try and keep us grounded, until we realize that we're trying to hold so many that we start to be carried and moved by the balloons themselves.

Or maybe we fill them so full of air that they pop and cause us to jump back into reality.

Or maybe we try to arrange them in pretty patterns and complimentary colors and use them for decoration.

Or maybe we enjoy popping them.

Or maybe we like looking at them from afar.

Or maybe we want to let them all go and disappear into the sky.

Or perhaps I'm taking this metaphor too far?

I just think that balloons are great. You can use them for so many things... or you can twist them into a long, drawn-out metaphor that works for a blog that you've been wanting to post for a while but didn't know how. They can be happy, or sad... depending on how you want to think about them. 

We buy balloons, we let them go.
Bret Easton Ellis

There are times in life when people must know when not to let go. Balloons are designed to teach small children this. 
Terry Pratchett

My definition [of a philosopher] is of a man up in a balloon, with his family and friends holding the ropes which confine him to earth and trying to haul him down.
Louisa May Alcott

Nobody can be uncheered with a balloon.
Winnie the Pooh

A year ago, I was curled up in a ball next to my toilet, dry-heaving, in the hopes that throwing up whatever I'd (not) eaten that day would make me feel something. I racked my brain for what I did or did not do wrong, for reasons why I was on my bathroom floor at that very moment, when the year before I had been looking at rings. I pictured the "other girl's" face, and imagined slapping it and spitting on it and crushing it with my foot. I pictured his face twisted and crying, over me of course, wishing that he hadn't "done this to me," and I pictured myself as this brave, stoic woman who would scoff at his regret and laugh at "the other girl's" foolishness of wanting to be with my man.

But I wasn't very brave. I was scared. And embarrassed. And lonely. And hurt. And so I stayed on various floors, carpeted and other, until I was able to lift my pounding head from the surface. I'd drag myself to the couch, to the bed, to the refrigerator... and eventually I was able to do more than exist.
It was a horrible time. But I had good friends, a good family, and access to the internet. I started dating lots of people, hoping to find some kind of "validation," or whatever we call it when we're hurting and needing to know that we have a "future."

But I also started this blog. Yep, it's been about a year. It was one of my first intentional steps forward after that terrible season, and it's a step that has brought me to new, better steps than the first.

So these balloons are celebrating my blog, my continual healing, and everyone who helped me to do so. But they're also a symbol (for me) of letting some things go. I can't keep everything in my fist, even if they're teeny, tiny balloon strings. They added up, and eventually they took me places that I didn't want to go. But when I let a few strings go, and then a few more... I led them. More have been added, but more have been let go. And that's good for now.


Amylou said...

Beautiful post Liz! Love the Balloon metaphor. It was perfect!
I've learned to let things go too. For some reason blogging does that to you. or at least it did for me.
I'm so glad you started this blog a year ago! I've loved getting to know you through it!

Heather said...

I can feel you exhale deeply as you click "post" and release even more "balloons" :)

I know this has been a long time coming. I'm glad you were finally ready and able to put it into words. This is one of your more "real" posts. Where the figurative parts are actually explained in a literal way. Sometimes its nice to not have to draw conclusions. As much as I enjoy your abstract thoughts that can, in turn, be translated into some aspect of my own life... your explanation made this easier to understand. And you KNOW i can relate as well. I'm still relating... every stinkin day.

I am blessed to have experienced part of this journey. I know there are still balloons yet to be released, some of which you may not know you're carrying. It takes a lot of strength to let go of the ones you already have. For that, I'm proud of you.

I am working on some of my own balloons... The worst part is how good they look. . . it feels as though you are letting go of a beautiful thing, a sense of happiness.

Unfortunately, this causes me to hold on to them long after they've carried me away...and often until they pop on their own...which is much less rewarding than knowing you let them go and watching them float away... Sorry to ramble... I enjoyed your post. And I enjoy your brain. Haaaha love you, lizery.

Janette said...

Love the metaphor and theme! And all these images!! SOOOO DREAMMMMYYYYYY!

Janette, the Jongleur

suzy said...

whoa, love this post. very beautiful & real...

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