You know what I like?
I like things to just go along in relatively the same direction, with just enough variation to prevent boredom and complacency.
I also like – I really like – to control things.
What I know – quite logically – is that nothing stays the same and there is very little you can actually control, outside of yourself and the way you react to things, interpret things and think about things.
Even your mind and body can behave in ways that you have no control over. Sure, you can do things to help prevent or fix whatever is going on, but sometimes, it’s gonna do what it’s gonna do and you just gotta go with that flow. Or not. The choice is yours, really.
There’s always choice.
It’s that the world around me keeps changing and that there is, relatively speaking, so little I can control that I was slapped in the face with a wet fish about the middle of February.
It was a sucky month, and there was lots going on that was stressing me the fuck out. Most of it was outside of my control and outside of my doing. I just wanted a little bit of stability; the rollercoaster I have been on was closely resembling some kind of psychotic, schizophrenic fair ride.
It was the Wet Fish Slap, though, that had me realising that, despite the fact I was on some weird-arse, crazed rollercoaster, I was still on track. Rollercoasters have tracks, if you think about it.
What’s a Wet Fish Slap, you may very well be asking.
Clearly, it is when you are slapped in the face with a wet fish.
It is also the term I use when I am confronted with a realisation that either changes my perception or my view on the world, or forces me to admit something about myself that I haven’t realised. Or that I was aware of, but had shoved to the back of the underwear drawer and forgotten about.
The thing with a Wet Fish Slap is it gets you to recognise stuff about yourself that you’re actually loath to admit. It is confronting. It has you doing a bit of back peddling, fervent justification and excuse making, or having a tantrum.
Once you accept whatever it is you don’t want to admit, however, as horrible as it can be at times and as much as you mightn’t want to, clarity prevails.
I’m also a little reluctant, on the one hand, to put this ‘out there’ as it were. I don’t like to admit, much less let anyone else know that I am not entirely perfect. I spent a lot of years working on this I Have It All Together facade, so to openly admit it has a few cracks and flaws (okay, and the odd gaping hole!) is making me cringe.
I also know that sharing it may spark something in someone else, in a good way, and that’s really super cool!
I realised how much I have been putting myself behind everyone else. To want to lift others, help others, provide for others … all at the expense of my own wellbeing, and at the expense of those things I love doing; those things that have been on my List and my mind for aaaaaages. Those things that, every year, I get look at, sigh, and feel guilty, useless and like a failure because, yet again, they are still on my List at Year’s End.
The crappy thing is, I can easily justify what I have been doing instead; because what I have been doing for others has been fun, I’ve got a great deal out of it, I believe in it and I have wanted to do it. It’s not stuff I’ve not enjoyed. It’s kinda sucky when you realise to what extent you will go to avoid doing something.
Sure, what I really want to be doing (My List) is freaking scary and there are no guarantees and it could end up being a massive failure. No wonder I’ve been procrastinating on it. Who wouldn’t?
To be fair to myself, I haven’t avoided these things entirely. I’ve been dabbling in them, doing a few bits here and there. I’ve not been doing nothing.
But I HAVE been procrastinating with stuff that has been positive and that is a really great justification.
Until the Wet Fish got me.
Right in the kisser and I wanted to say “Fuck you” to it and tell it it was talking bullshit.
I’m glad it go me, though. Oh, how I needed it. How I needed to be shocked into realising that not everyone wants or appreciates my help, and that the world is constantly changing and there are LOTS of things beyond my control and I, really, just have to work with them.
Go with the flow, as it were.
A weight lifted form my heart and my shoulders and my mind.
Then epiphanies and revelations and further realisations started going off like popcorn!
So much so, and so quickly, I wanted to say “Stop! Slow down!” and grab my note pad so I could capture them all.
The work I wanted to do started to come in, the things I wanted to focus on and that had been on my List for ages gained significant clarity … I got Clarity.
It was – and still is – awesome. Overwhelming, but awesome.
Of course, with the Up comes the Down; as it is with rollercoasters.
I was forced to make some hard decisions; some that left me sad, some that left me heartbroken and some I still have to decide on, but am wandering around in circles trying to find an alternative so I’m not forced to make it.
I don’t like hard decisions as much as I don’t like being out of control and powerless.
I am, however, still on track, with my giant Wet Fish and my big bowl of popcorn.
I’m looking forward to the ride.
Have you had a Wet Fish Slap lately? Want to share?