Tag Archives: analogy

The Pied Piper of Lost Souls

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You are not a god. You’re a shark in the Sahara.

This is the embarrassing truth. The unfortunate end to the Emmy worthy performance  for all of your loyal fans. Because you are an actor. A poet with hollow words and shallow glances that are impossible to see through. You’re the piper and we are your mice. Your song is lovely. The tune, enchanting; spellbinding. But, your flute is small and your melody grows curious to seasoned ears. These crowds of scurrying feet soon realize that you have no idea where you are going. You wonder loosely and without purpose, aside from your resentment for the purpose of others. But still they follow. They’ve heard a lovely song before and they wait because they naively believe that is the song you want to play.

You play and you dance until you grow bored. Then, Oh Judas! Your tune turns bitter, cold, harsh. Then you stop. Leaving poor souls far from places they know and without the means to ever go back. Then it’s a new song. New followers. Same old lackluster performance. The lights are bright and blinding, but the show without a script, void of substance. And you do it again. And again. And again. And again. And again. And again. And again. Each time, convincing these little mice they are different. Old lies lay softly on unweathered hearts, you see.  And again. And again. And again. And again. You’re unimpressive, yet your feigned vulnerability lures these timid mice, these rats, these dogs.

No, you are not a god. You’re an exterminator with a tiny flute, doomed to play the only song you know. The only song you’ll ever know.

I’ll hear that song in Hell.

Day 12: Like Riding a Bike

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Day 12: Today, I’m thankful I got on the bike.

That overused cliché about never forgetting how to ride a bike turns out to be true. I haven’t had a bike since… well, I honestly don’t even remember. Sometime around second grade, I think.

We got my dad a bicycle for Father’s Day a few weeks ago, and since the temperature dropped from 93 to 75 degrees over the course of an hour today, I finally decided to give it a whirl around the block. I’ve been debating for weeks, but I’ve psyched myself out every time, imagining violently sliding across the pavement sideways and meeting my untimely and embarrassing end. Today, I said screw it, put on some soffe shorts and a tank top, and went for it.

I went around the block twice and came back in, sweating, and feeling good that I conquered my fear – even if that makes me as accomplished as a 6 years old. After a little bit of lightning and some spitting rain passed, I decided to go back out again.

I’m so glad I did – the air had a yellow hue, the clouds were dark purple against an auburn sky, and the air was cool. I kept the gear higher than I should trudging up the massive hills in my neighborhood and didn’t succumb to squeezing the breaks as I came soaring down the other side. It felt incredible to go that fast, cool air beating around my ears and tangling my hair. And one time around the block turned into three or four or five, as I lost track of time.

I’m sure I my butt cheeks will be hurting tomorrow, the unfortunate way they do when a bicycle seat bruises them, but for now, I’m glad that I got on and started peddling. Once I did, I realized how silly it was to not ride simply for the fear of falling down.

Day 2: This is a Toast for the Douchebags.

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Day 2: This is a Toast for the Douchebags.

Today, I was sitting at a red light, windows down, the hot summer and the music of the person next to me drifting through my car. It was the overplayed Chris Brown, “throw your glass in the air and say yeah” song. I could feel him drilling a hole in the side of my head, so I looked over, gave him an awkward half smile, and turned back to the light. The music got louder and then he began flipping through his ipod, playing half-second intros until he landed on nothing other than “Your Sex is on Fire”.

I looked back at him with a puzzled look, thinking it could only be sweet serendipity. Oh, no – I was wrong. I got the’ hey girl’ head nod and that lip curl that you see in photos when people are holding up their ice or showing their glocks.

The light changed, and of course my little Accord beat his oversized truck up the hill. I sped away, laughing at my little sitcom moment.

So today, I’m thankful for the douchebags, and thankful for the assholes. And even the scumbags, every one of them that I know… And I know a few.

Because without them, who would keep the #GTL hash tag alive? Who would make my girlfriends and I feel good about our asses? Whose grammar would I correct? (I do get a sick pleasure out of that). Whose abs would I stare at to pass time on the treadmill?

As in every balanced ecosystem, they have their place. Sure, they’re a bit confused – like the bird that flies into a closed window. At first you feel kind of bad… but mostly, it’s just funny. And the best part is, they never get the joke.

So thanks, douchebags. You bring me a lot of joy.

140 Days to Prague

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Somewhere between our situation and our outlook resides our character.

I get that life is complicated. I get that things won’t always go your way. But, sometimes I feel like the universe has a pillow over my face.

This year has been wild. I’ve had a surgery, two car accidents, bought a one-way ticket to Europe and have had more friends get married than I can count. Those are just the big things. In between, I’m dodging calls from boys I want to forget, listening to my mother warn me about “ending up alone”  – including a recent article about how people who live alone die younger – and working behind a desk at a job that I’ve mentally checked out of. And then a million more things like it.

All the stress has been making me a little nuts. Has me seeing a glass half-empty, brown grass sort of world. But yesterday, I was going to get ice-cream with a friend and I put on a pair of jeans that have until recently, been too tight to wear. And I took a good look at my butt and all the rest melted away. I know we are a “big picture” world, but that doesn’t mean we can’t enjoy these little moments of bliss.

Thus, 140 days to Prague is born. A countdown until I leave and start my new life. 140 things in the interim that I find to be thankful for. Just one good thing a day. Suffocated or not, I can find one magical moment every day to be thankful for.

Day 1: The way your bum looks in the perfect-fitting pair of jeans. Hug my legs and cup my cheeks, wash is dark, pockets deep. Thanks, good-ass-jeans.

Broken Heart. The same as a broken anything else.

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The incident.

The initial SNAP.

There’s the slow break. It may happen without you even knowing, causing a dull pain that you deal with, until you finally admit something isn’t right. Wonder how much damage was done by not addressing the dull pain when you first noticed it. Think about what you would have done differently if you would have only been more mindful.

There’s the hard break. Running at dusk, enjoying the fresh cut grass smell of spring, and your leg buckles. Lying on the cement. No warning. Can’t feel the evening sun, the buzzing lawnmowers lose focus, ringing ears. You feel everything and nothing at once.

Symptoms.

Guilt. Remorse. Pain.

The challenging part – admitting that you have a deficiency. You may be the guilty one. Maybe this happened because of your neglect, maybe you could have done something to prevent it.

Wish you could rewind. Go back, stretch, tie your shoes tighter.

Confusion. Betrayal. Hurt.

You did everything you could but the thing you love ruined you. Nothing more to do. Sometimes you can do everything right, yet it still manages to go wrong. You keep telling yourself that. You hope to believe it one day.

The diagnosis.

You see an expert. Obviously broken. You aren’t yourself, you hurt everywhere. You cry and think discouraging things. Every time you move, you are reminded of the pain. You set up a plan for recovery, but you are filled with guilt for now.

Friends tell you not to worry. That this will be a memory soon enough. That you will run again. But you can’t imagine it. The thought of it makes you sick.

The recovery.

Start out slow. Going out, support from friends. Before you’re ready, but you fear you never will be. Wanting to break out in a full run, wanting the instant satisfaction you used to have, missing the momentum, the possibilities. Having to start over from the beginning. Nothing is the same.

Side effects.

Pushing to do more, move forward. But every step reminds you of what you used to be, the gift you used to have. The gift that’s gone. You relapse. You numb yourself however you can. You close your eyes to pretend you aren’t where you are. Wonder if it will ever feel good again.

The prognosis.

You keep stepping, you keep pushing.

Because you have to.

Because you want to believe that everyone else is right and this will all go away.

There will be good days and bad. An entire day will eventually pass where there is no pain. And then a week. Then you will forget that you were ever broken. Eventually, you will be healed. Some evening with overcast clouds and cold rain in the future, you will feel a twinge of pain and be flooded with the old feelings. But you’ll remember getting through it. Remember that you conquered it. And it will be okay.

You will run again. You will be able to see the sunset and smell the spring grass with nothing but feelings of happiness.

You will grow stronger through your healing.

Flip a bitch.

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Driving today, enjoying some Lilly Allen, I took a left turn, and ended up about 15 miles south of the right turn I should have made before I noticed. I was on a divided highway and couldn’t turn around. Next exit: 5 miles. Five miles of knowingly driving the wrong way after 15 minutes of unknowingly driving the wrong direction. It made my eye twitch.

Because that’s a frustrating thing, to be driving on a road, going in a direction you don’t want to be headed, and be told you are not allowed to turn around. I did what most people in my situation would have. I examined the height of the median, weighed the consequences, and “flipped a bitch” as the saying goes. Nothing damaged, no cops chasing me, I carried on my merry way.

And I thought,’that was easy’. And it was. I’m sure I broke a few laws, but I saved 5 miles each way. Or rather, didn’t lose it.

So, of course I’m leading to a big, sweeping analogy, because that’s how I make sense of the world and my decisions in it. Here it is:

I drove 15 minutes the wrong direction without even noticing. I was driving. I should have my license revoked at least. But how often do we do this? Keep moving forward with the lowest possible level of consciousness to get us by, a lot of times knowing it isn’t right. Our jobs, relationships, diet, lifestyles, and all of the choices we consistently seem to forget we are actually making. Nothing is just the way it is. We are making the choice every day.

So the next part of that is turning off the radio and tuning in to our lives. Being aware of all of the things happening around us. Making an effort to check in on the people we care about. Making an effort to check in with ourselves. Taking that cooking class, going on that jog, buying that dress that we’ve had our eye on.

We are exposed to countless stimulus constantly throughout our day. We are driven by timeframes and deadlines and the expectations of our bosses, our friends, our lovers, our family and our culture. Often, it feels like we are being pushed by a momentum we can’t control.

But just remember whose foot is on the gas.

If only every decision in life was so simple as flipping a bitch. If only when we felt like we felt like we were going the wrong direction, we took a moment to think about it and then we just turned around. If only people didn’t get hurt in the process, our money was safe and we had insurance on our decisions.

But, we don’t. And that’s scary.

But it might be more scary to wake up behind the wheel one day and not even know that we were the one driving the entire time. So, if the urge strikes you, flip a bitch.