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Change the Tape

You listen to your favorite song on repeat because you can’t get enough of it. It sticks like maple syrup on your tongue. You savor the sweetness. It loops back to the beginning again and again. The start the bridge the finish so perfect. You memorize it. It defines you becomes you. It sounds like love, like light. It touches you. Every time it comes on you remember where you were and when you heard it—you think about who it made you feel like exactly in that moment. Sweet, delicious, savored.

You never want to wash it out of your mouth, your mind. It becomes part of you. In ten years when it comes on, you’ll still know the words.

Then there’s that other recording. The one you know even better, the one that loops on repeat when you’re about to make a big decision, take a leap, maybe even believe in yourself. It sounds something like a shadow, tastes like a lump in your throat. A background noise looming.

As you get closer to amazing it gets louder.

“No You Can’t.” It hisses on repeat.

“You’re not good enough.” It sings.

“You don’t deserve love, light, happiness.”

It loops back to the beginning again. You memorize it. It becomes part of you.

Then every time you’re sitting on the cliff’s edge, legs dangling, you remember the words, they resonate.

Maybe next time, make it different. Maybe next time, slow down a second, remember that it’s your finger on the button.

Breathe in a little.


Look out around you. Bright blue skies asking for wings to touch it, deep blue seas saying won’t  you please jump in?

Pretty. Scary. Real.

There’s a hush. Nothing but you and air.

In those moments the recording has changed.

“Of course I can.” You say out loud.

Your legs dangle over what now seems like infinity. You make the leap and land softly, right where you were supposed to be.

The old tape is tired. Time for a new song. Make it your favorite.

Of course you can.



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