Girl on “Wire”


They said grace and let the soy sauce roll.

Rows of sushi stuffed with salmon and avocado lined the plates in delicate, little rows, ready to be prodded by the chopsticks of girls gone hungry for communion & conversation.

They settled in their chairs, relaxed into the rhythms of one another’s stories. They were old friends, all too familiar with the way that distance could rap on the door frame.

“My girl wire got the best of me… it definitely did this time.” 

She stared down at her plate and looked up for some kind of forgiveness from her friend.

The two turned to laughing. They cleared the air of apologies. It wasn’t too late. No, it was not too late. 


One of my best friends and I refer to it as the “girl wire.”

The girl wire is best defined as “the ability to lose one’s footing, balance, and sanity, in a frenzy of obsession over a guy.” It’s a common prince charming syndrome. It’s acting out of emotion, out of carnal “accept me” motives, rather than grounded soul & assurance in your own worth.

It’s the abandoning of all the confidence & assurance you’ve carved into yourself for the approval of another. It’s letting that approval dominate your thoughts. Your actions. Alter your beliefs. Making you go back on the person you said you wanted to be all along.

Together, we’ve learned the tightrope walk of balance between being completely smitten over the existence of another beautiful soul and what it means to pack up and move straight into the Valley of Gone, Baby, Gone. A Valley of Straight Up Losing Yourself to Another. Checking the phone incessantly. Finding value in his words. Sizing yourself up by the comments he makes and the breath he bothers to take to speak life into you.  

The feminist that sometimes stirs in me would say this desire to be accepted is engraved in our roots.

The feminist inside of me would banter about young women raised to be praised as “pretty little things.” Raised to be small. Raised to be weak. Raised to be waiting by the door for a savior. Or by the window for a prince. And, when that prince comes, we pour out ourselves like a basin. We swab the decks of that Yesterday Girl to be whatever another person wants out of our Tomorrow.

But the plain old girl inside of me, the one who still doesn’t know if she prefers tea or coffee on a rainy Tuesday, would just say that we are all looking to be loved & accepted, and we are willing to give up a lot of ourselves to get there. 


Now I ain’t saying love is a bad thing.

I ain’t saying that falling into the arms of a Somebody who devours your quirks like pancakes on Sunday is a sin. I’m just saying that we is human beings. We is fragile. We is broken. We is never prepared to handle all the parts of someone else; we were never designed to be such holders. 

And. yet. we. try. like. the. dickens.

It’s instinct to throw ourselves into another. It’s hope strung like Christmas lights around the barn that another person could be all the arms we ever needed, all the love we ever prayed for, all the acceptance we gave up on giving ourselves. It’s affirmation & confirmation & admiration & and all the other “ations” we crave to keep us from staring in the mirror and finding just what it might take to go weak-kneed over our own reflections and the life that surges from inside us.

Oh, if we stopped shoving off that power. Oh, if we realized that our hands are so very small for a reason; and that a guy can come along and hold our hands, and kiss our hands, but they cannot hold the whole of us in such little hands. Oh, if we only cut off the “girl wire” and just sank into the skins of a girl on fire. 

Know this: I’m not here to pour poetry out onto your soul. Watering your bones with almond milk syllables will never mean a damn thing if I don’t just simply say, in one single sentence, what I have learnt to be true in all these years: your completion does not rest in another. It’s not lock-and-keyed into the heart of another. Or a 6’3 stature. Or the glow of a screen. Or the sounding of a text.

It’s already stitched inside of you, as beautiful as the dust of a Creation Story that knit you in secret spaces out of spiderweb silk. It’s there, there in the deep of you already, no matter how much sludge & hollow & pain & abuse & resentment has covered it up in all these years.

It never goes away. It never buys the next train ticket out and decides to leave you standing on the platform alone.

You might forget it. You might lose the muscles it takes to believe in it. But everything you have ever needed is already inside of you. It’s sprawling like bucketfuls of wildflowers. It demands a watering can that’s only ever craved your fingers wrapped around its handle.

Your completion does not rest in another. If I know a single thing to be true in this crazy, whimsical life… it’s that. I don’t always believe in it but I know it is true. 

13 thoughts on “Girl on “Wire”

  1. Oh Hannah, you’ve done it again. The tears are forming in my eyes at how perfect the timing of this post is for me. We may not talk often, but I swear you always seem keyed into what I need to hear. Such a beautiful reminder that all of us ladies need to hear now and again. Thanks for reminding your readers to strengthen our resolve to stay a bit more balanced up on that tightrope.

  2. Hi Hannah,
    As a middle-aged chick who dated a lot of guys before finding my “soul equal,” I can totally related to Girl on Wire. What I used to think I needed to give up of myself to date a guy … ought to be outlawed. Absurd in the rear view mirror of life.

    We raise women to think — even in 2013 — that we cannot be our powerful selves in the company of men.

    I can say with completely certainty that the pain women endure in the face of dating comes from not being our full blown selves.

    Find what makes you come alive in life and meet a mate in that arena. He will not be able to take his eyes off of you, not want to stop feasting on your personality.

    Be soul equals. Be a complete person as you mention above.

    Be an equal partner in the relationship from the get go.

    Be sure to keep living. Women often meet a guy and at first they are themselves and then as the weeks progress, they get smaller, thinking they are getting closer to the prize of marriage and the prize requires one to become a lilliputian.

    It’s no prize if you have to reduce your being to get it. Go in the opposite direction of where you think you should be going, where you think the prize is.

    You want someone who will love you for the real, full blown you, not some caricature …

    Former woman on wire,


  3. Thank you so much for this post, Hannah! I found myself nodding my head in agreement with every word you said. I wish that all of us girls could grasp these truths. I’ve been following your blog for a while now and don’t usually comment but I wanted to let you know how much I appreciate these words. You’ve written a lot of blogs that have touched my heart and fed my soul but this one may be my favorite. 🙂

  4. Oh my goodness. You’ve got me crying at my kitchen table over my oatmeal. My Mom sent me your TED talk link & I followed it here. Your writing is beautiful and raw. You are inspiring me to keep searching for that in myself again. Thank you.

  5. This resounds so much with my heart. I have been guilty of letting my girl wire rage out of control. I finally beat it almost five years ago, and I’m not that person anymore, and I’ve found the secret to not needing a boy to make me feel the value that God gave me to begin with. But that time eight years ago when I was vulnerable and just needed somebody to tell me that there was nothing wrong with my quirky body and weird compulsions and unusual dreams and maybe even to love me for that–that’s when my girl wire was strongest, and I poured my entire soul into three different guys over three years. And each one left me broken and empty, and each time I felt alone, and each time I reached out for my friends. But my friends weren’t quite so understanding and forgiving, and they had gotten tired of me and told me I was on my own this time.

    I wish someone would have told me this before I lost so much on a love gamble. I mean, I grew up with catchy youth group slogans about Jesus being my Prince Charming and God being the reason I was beautiful, but it was said in a “oh, don’t worry about your acne and your awkward body, God still thinks you’re beautiful” kind of way that made it clear that to them I was anything but beautiful. And I know now that I was wrong and they were wrong, but I still wish that maybe one person would’ve told me I was beautiful before I wasted my teenage years on relationships that were so cancerous.

    Thank you for being that voice for girls and women today. Thanks for always reminding us that we ARE beautiful–and not just in a super-spiritual inner beauty kind of way.

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