I am…not in a good place today. And I couldn’t tell you why. I got home yesterday feeling low, and it hasn’t improve one bit since then. If anything, it’s gotten worse.
I mentioned in my last entry that, while I was at Wildfire, my hair caught fire when I was doing a trick with my fire staff. I brushed it off as “no big deal” and at the time, it really wasn’t. One of my friends said “I don’t understand how setting yourself on fire is ‘no big deal’.” But I really wasn’t trying to be cavalier. It just…didn’t upset me as badly as I had thought. Well, karma had it in for me, because on Saturday night, I really did catch on fire, and it was not good.
I was spinning fire staff at a friend’s house. My safety was my friend Drea. The treeline at my friends’ apartment is low, and I didn’t properly “spin off” the excess fuel on my staff before beginning. During a trick, I accidentally brushed the wick of my staff against my shirt. And my shirt went up in flames. Drea, who hadn’t been safetying long, saw the flames and froze. I tried to brush them off but I only succeeded in making a bad situation worse. With nothing left to do, I threw the staff aside in order to “stop, drop, and roll”, like we’re taught when we’re little kids. Until age 29, last Saturday night, I’ve never once had to do that. But it was instinctive, and it worked — sort of. There were still a couple of live flames on my shirt when I hit the ground, and those were quickly beat out by a couple of my friends.
Unbelievably, I wasn’t burned. My left side was slightly singed, but the pain stopped after a couple of hours. I’m very fortunate.
I have been feeling off ever since this happened. There are so many stupid, ridiculous, painful feelings right now. Something that usually makes me feel so powerful, so happy, so free, is frightening to me. That primary rule “respect the flames” — I feel like I only thought that I did, but I wasn’t taking it seriously enough. How could I have been, to have screwed up so badly? I’m lucky I wasn’t severely hurt. I’m embarrassed that I screwed up, and so badly, in front of my friends, most of whom are much more experienced than I am. It’s also two times I’ve set myself on fire in two weeks. The first time was no big deal — a lot of people screw up tricks and hit themselves with their wicks, especially when learning. The second was a stupid, stupid mistake — an incomplete spin-off that left an excess of fuel on my staff, which transferred to my body and set me alight — that could have easily been avoided.
I don’t know why it is hitting me so hard lately, but I feel like an overwhelming failure. Which is a complete 180 from where I was a couple of weeks ago. Back then I was feeling powerful, strong, smart, talented. Now I feel…empty. Useless. Weak. A failure.
There aren’t too many lower points that I’ve hit, than lying on the ground, crying from fear and pain while my soon-to-be-ex husband frantically beats the flames out of my shirt.
In any case. I’m fine. Everyone’s fine. I’m just…not where I was a couple of weeks ago. The path my life has taken in the last eighteen months has been very “two steps forward, one step back”, and sometimes…I’m just not in a good place. Like right now. I hate that, but it is what it is.
The good thing about the low points is knowing that — like the high points — they’re not forever. Life is a series of ups and downs. I am out of the horrible darkness I was in a year ago. I am not quite where I want to be, but I’m in a better place than I was.
And when the darkness begins to lift once more…I will spin again.