I’m going to tell you a story because I need to and I think I might need some sort of help, at least socially. I do too many things and right now I need to go back to showing up for nothing but me.
It’s impossible to tell anyone this in a way that doesn’t sound like High Drama; so elaborate schemes and hoaxes and dramas come into play. Weird fixations and twisty bend off’s to get out of relationship responsibilities. Eventually I actually DO get sick, but I’ll get to that.
Okay. Let’s pretend I’m a prairie animal. One that runs fast and that’s what it does. That’s its thing. It’s into running fast.
So it gets up to this CRAZY high speed of crazy crazy and then … it gets cocky. It looks to the side, as if to say “hey, fu%#*^rs! Look at me! I’m the fastest mut—”
of course, the prairie animal hits the large obvious obstacle looming in front of it. The prairie animal was bragging and looking off to the side. It wasn’t watching where it was going! It was IMPERVIOUS to circumstance!
“It’s her own fault,” say the other grassland creatures. “She prolly had her phone out. *WE* shouldn’t have to pay her medical bills! We shouldn’t have to listen to her whine.”
So, broken and bleeding, the creature slithers into a hole behind a bush behind a rock to heal and hide and think about how stupid she is. Alone. With nobody else. Preferring to be by herself. La, la, la.
And at the beginning, it’s pretty bad, because the crash HURTS… but it’s one of those sorts of things where you fall in public and it’s embarrassing and you’ve had the wind knocked out and your nose is bleeding. You obviously need assistance but all you can think to say is “nope! I’m cool!” as you scream angry tears inside because it’s better to walk calmly away leaving all your dental work on the ground than sit there looking like a lame dope.
So the prairie animal is mostly embarrassed and claws deeply into sick shame alone for a while. This
suits everyone with half a brain just fine – no one needs such complications cluttering up their sunbathing time! But eventually after some solitude in the dark hole, she starts to trust. Others. This goes poorly sometimes because there’s no manual for who gives a flying rat’s bum; but it’s a necessary part of navigating out of the thornbush at the front of the deep pit.
Mostly, she trusts herself. Soon she is peeking out from behind the rock. She looks at other creatures and thinks gah! I could never be that fast again … But she sneaks out when no one is looking. She figures out through trial and error who to trust to guide her through the motions of life now that she’s relearned how to brush her teeth stumps and to un-knot her fur. It’s usually turtles, clouds, flowers, rain. The quiet thinkers who are not living furtive lives lurching toward their own dead ends. Or maybe they have and that’s why they get it – so they are gentle and they make time.
For this she is grateful.
So she learns to stop bragging. She stops running other people’s races.
And at some point, she goes onto the prairie and begins a slow jog. Carefully looking ahead.
If only she can remember to keep her eye on the prize. If she can just remember not to get cocky.