This morning was hard. I was letting the monsters win.
I was struggling with the usual not-good-enough-itis. You know the drill.
I decided it was time to go for a walk. When the monsters start winning, it’s usually a sure sign that I need to get my body moving and I need to be in nature for awhile.
Unfortunately, the moment I left the house, I got a phone call that made matters worse. It was one of those “bad news – you owe more money than you thought” kind of phone calls, and it plunged me even deeper into the monsters’ lair. The tears started flowing as I walked. And then it started raining, which seemed fitting. I kept walking. Oddly enough, walking in the rain often helps my mood.
As I walked down my favourite woodland path, I started beating myself up with old stories. “Why aren’t you better with money? Why couldn’t you have been satisfied with those well paid, upwardly mobile jobs you’ve had in the past? Why aren’t you more successful at this self-employment thing?”
As my friend Desiree said the other day (and I think she was quoting Pam Slim), I was doing some serious “story-fondling”.
Things got worse. I started ranting at God. “Why did you have to choose this particular path for me? Why did you make me so restless that I keep looking for the next journey I need to take? Why did I get stuck with a journey that takes me through so many hard places? Why didn’t you make me an accountant so I wouldn’t have to worry about money? Why didn’t you make me more like those friends who are still content in the perfectly good jobs I left years ago? Why do I have to experience so much brokenness?”
Oh yeah, the monsters were having a party.
And then I spotted something on the woodland path. A small fish. Perfectly placed in the middle of the path, looking like he had climbed out of the river, slithered along the ground for about 200 feet and stopped to catch a breath on the path, only to find that he could no longer breathe. There was a look of surprise in his eyes.
You see the metaphor here, don’t you?
A fish out of water.
Exactly what I would be if I had chosen the path of accountant, or stayed on the path of government management.
Dead on a path that wasn’t mine. Unable to breathe because I was meant for other things.
Fish need water. Birds need the sky. Worms need the soil. Rabbits need the earth.
Artists need to paint. Dancers need to dance. Accountants need spreadsheets. Scientists need test tubes.
Take a path that’s not meant for you, and you can never be fully alive.
And with that, the monsters began to retreat. All I needed was a dead fish on the path to remind me not to listen to them.
A little further on the path, I found a small pink pillow hanging from a tree. On it were the words “The Princess is In”. Hmmmm… do you think I should find a metaphor in that too? Smile.
An interesting side note: I’m in the process of creating a new website that offers a little more clarity and focus for my work, and, even before this morning’s wandering, I’d settled on language that relates to serving as “your guide along the path through chaos to creativity”. If you’re having trouble finding your path and would like a guide, check out my services, and contact me.