I’ve never “celebrated” Leap Day before. Why would I? It’s not my birthday; it’s in February in the middle of winter; it’s just a regular day. But this year, for some reason it seemed like a big deal. There were television shows about Leap Day; there were special sales for Leap Day; Twitter was buzzing with #LeapDay. Suddenly it had become this almost real holiday, and it didn’t make any sense to me because, come on, it’s not even technically an “extra” day–it just seems like it because of the way we’ve organized our calendars.
But then I started thinking about it more and realized that an extra day, whether technically extending time or not, really is something to celebrate. Let’s face it: time is zooming by at warp speed. One year ago, I was on vacation in Jamaica, and I still remember it as if it were a few months ago. Four months ago, I quit my job, and it seems like it just happened a few weeks ago. Two weeks ago, I moved out of my wonderful, tiny studio apartment, and it feels like it was only a few days ago. Time is playing cruel tricks on me, and I don’t appreciate it. So anything that can make it appear as if I’ve been given more time, even if it’s just a simple number on a calendar, is something I can get behind.
To celebrate, I leaped around the living room. Then I leaped down the street. And while I was leaping down the street, basking in the 60 degree February 29th, I noticed something. I felt free. I didn’t care how crazy I looked to anyone. If someone had jumped out and said, “Ah ha! Caught you doing something ridiculous in public!” it wouldn’t have bothered me. Which, if you know me well, probably doesn’t surprise you. I’ve been known to do silly things in public.
But over the past few years, I’m afraid I’ve become less silly. While I’m reserved and low-key in social situations with strangers, my natural inclination is to be crazy, and that always used to shine through. Only, when you’re an adult trying to “make it” in New York City, you can’t always be crazy. You have to be responsible, and you have to be exhausted, and you have to be slightly hardened by the fast pace. Or, at least, I did. I had to be a tougher version of myself in order to survive. That’s something I’ve noticed before, but I haven’t really paid much attention to it over the years. It happens to everyone, doesn’t it?
Maybe it doesn’t. Maybe I’m just making excuses. Well, regardless, I’m going to work harder to make sure I remain myself and not let anything get in the way of leaping down the street. Because that, like it or not, is me. And I don’t want to let myself fade away. I don’t want to only see that part revealed every 4 years.
So, if you see someone leaping down the street on a normal Thursday or a regular Tuesday, it’s probably me. Feel free to stop and say hi if you wish. I won’t be embarrassed. I’ve done far more ridiculous things in public.