Years ago, in an earlier version of this site, I wrote about my personal idea of clever:
To me, clever is being quick-witted and easily able to talk to people. It’s being intelligent enough to be able to carry on a conversation of substance without having to check my phone to figure out what the other person is talking about. Clever is authentic and unapologetic. It is being able to talk through the questions and being open to the answers.
I don’t want to memorize inane factoids about every subject so that I can entertain with a Jeopardy-like fervour, I want to feel better about myself — inside and out. I don’t think there’s a better way to do that than by actively learning.
Some of that still holds true but the explanation needs a lot of tweaking to be relevant to me today. And, really, ‘talk through the questions…’ — what the hell does that even mean?
I still have a lot to learn but now, a big part of my clever is getting out of my head and into the world. Getting involved and pushing through this beautiful, yet unbearable, bubble of invisibility I’ve built up around myself.
It’s all a bit terrifying though.
I used to want to sky dive. Being scared of heights, it was a strange thing to want to do but I decided it was something I needed to experience before I died. When I was younger, I think it was a signifier that at some point I wouldn’t be afraid anymore. The feeling of having no control, the wind rushing past, and the absurdity of jumping would be a surrender of sorts. I wouldn’t fear impending death but revel in the freedom of the fall.
I don’t want to jump out of a plane anymore but the metaphor still stands.
I’ve been waiting for the tandem jumper behind me to push, not allowing me to retreat into my comfortable place, but it’s time I find the courage myself to commit to the jump.