Home > advice -- not that you asked, Don't make me hurt you > Fetal Pigs, Empty Pools, and Cowardice

Fetal Pigs, Empty Pools, and Cowardice

 

Sometimes, I am so brave that it makes me foolish. This is not exactly a conscious decision. It’s just me and what I feel like I have to or need to do. I’m not someone to rest on my hands, waiting for someone else to clear their throat or grow a pair. I am, to be crude, a chick with balls. I ask the questions. I speak the thoughts. I try. I make an effort. I am honest to a fault. I jump in with both feet, eyes wide open, sometimes forgetting that there’s no water to catch me. That the pool’s been drained. That maybe I should’ve thought things through…better. But let’s be fair: cowards gain nothing by standing still and silent. I’m good with all of my crazy, I think. No one gets anywhere with anything or anyone by doing nothing.

When something is on my mind, I don’t like to let it fester. I don’t care who is supposed to begin the conversation first, my only goal is to actually have the conversation. I will bite the bullet every time, because I hate letting things drag out for longer than the need to. To me, an un-discussed issue begins to reek like the fetal pig from my high school advanced bio class. Sure, it’s okay the first day. But by the third, I’m trying not to breathe too deeply. And the smell is making me nauseous.  (Side-note: that is the first time I’ve ever spelled nauseous correctly on the first try. LARGE CHEER.)

Life, my dears, is too fragile and short to be breathed in shallow breaths. We forget that too damn often. We put things off. We hold things back. We are half of ourselves. We are too cowed by fear of a difficult moment, or a painful one, or taking a chance. We are listening to the mustn’ts and the shouldn’ts and the don’ts (thank you, Shel Silverstein).

I know that there are things in life we are told not to do. Things like not calling a boy, or crossing the street without looking, or making a snap decision. But sometimes, calls have to be made. Sometimes you have to bolt between moving cars. And sometimes, you do not have time to ponder all the consequences. The most confusing things is the conflicting ideas we are feed, our entire lives. One minute, we are told to be careful and cautious. The next we are told to take chances, be bold. Fortune favors the brave. Well, which is it? Which is the right way?

Here’s the thing that no one tells you: there is no right way. There is no magic answer. What works for one person, may not work for you. What works one day, may not work the next. The really important thing, with life and people, is that you try. That you clear your throat and stop being afraid. That you push, instead of letting yourself be pushed.

I have always been an odd girl. If, and when, I know what I want – that’s it. Decision made. There’s no going back. Sometimes, this confuses people. Because I don’t have ulterior motives. I don’t have hidden agendas. I don’t know how to give my word and not keep it. That’s just me. I expect that same level of commitment from others, despite the fact that is a foreign concept for a fairly large number of people. Names, of course, withheld. But if something falls apart, or goes wrong, or just explodes – it’s not going to be on my end. It’s not because I rolled over and took a nap, took the easy way, or just let it slide. I cannot control anything but myself.

And I am not a coward.

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  1. Jessica
    June 12, 2012 at 10:21 am

    Did you write this, or did I? 😉

    In all seriousness though, you know I agree completely. Being a coward is easy. But life is short, and I don’t intend to waste any more of it being afraid. The most caution you’ll see me exercise these days is a moment of cool calculation before I make my move. You can always see all the pieces on the chessboard but you can never truly know what your opponent will do next. You can try to force him into a corner, and make him meet you head on but he may still find a way to run. You can play the game many steps ahead if you like, but you can never truly profess to know. So how long can you really stand still, plotting and planning?

    I have spent many years of my life trying to plot and plan a stable life for myself. But for every charted course and careful step, something went wrong, something that I never could have foreseen. And every time I scramble around grasping at the broken pieces, forcing them back together again. But that never truly makes me happy. A few months ago, my mother panicked when she learned that I was leaving my permanent job for a temporary one, out of town. Where would I live, what about my apartment and my boyfriend and my job and all those annoying ducks I had spent so much time putting in a row, and as I calmly told her I would figure it out, I realized that I’d made the decision without stopping to worry about all of those things, and it was the best decision I ever made. I am striving now, to continue in that vein and instead of worrying so much about setting every detail right, just learning embrace the chaos. Because life is, and will always be, chaos. And it’s a lot easier to roll with it than it is to fight it.

    • June 12, 2012 at 10:39 am

      Jessica,

      YES. This. Even with careful planning and the utmost caution, things STILL go wrong. And, sometimes, the best decisions are the crazy ones. The “I’ll figure it out” ones. Also, I tried to reply to you on FB, but it’s being evil and hiding people’s comments. Damn SKYNET. 😉 Thank you very much for reading and for the wonderful comment. I adore you, chica.

  2. June 12, 2012 at 2:25 pm

    I don’t know what prompted this, but I wish you good luck with the people who need to accept what you wrote here.

    As for myself, I put it this way: like the little kid in the story, I’m the one standing there, yelling that the dude is effin’ nekkid.

    • June 13, 2012 at 9:02 am

      Ben, it’s probably too vague to say ‘life,’ but life. *grin* Also, I love that comparison. I’m the same way. 😉

  3. June 12, 2012 at 11:07 pm

    as one odd girl to another, you just gotta be you. and you’ll succeed doing that and I know you know that. 😉 I applaud your fierceness; it’s the only way to be.

    • June 13, 2012 at 9:02 am

      Jules, you are my people — and I’m damn glad we’ve found each other. *grin* Thank you for the awesome compliment. And yes, it IS the only way to truly be. 🙂

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