I woke up one Sunday morning after a week of having a bad cold.I was not feeling well enough for a bike ride, and not so sick I needed to stay indoors all day. I wanted to do something. And not just anything…I wanted a body of water. I put on my pink bikini and stood in front of the mirror lamenting the fact that I lived in a hot concrete jungle with no obvious escape. I thought that perhaps if I just stood in front of the mirror long enough in my bathing suit I would magically be teleported to a body of water. I even splashed kitchen sink water on my face (still with my bikini on). The day went on, and I eventually I changed out of my bathing suit. I called my friend later that morning expressing my truest desire. “Well, A and JC are at a hotel just chilling by the pool today! You should call them!” I was annoyed that A hadn’t called me. Didn’t she know that I wanted to go swimming today? How come she didn’t call me? Her phone rang and rang with no answer. Not that I needed her to get a cab. Not that I needed her permission to go sit by the pool. But still…why wasn’t she answering? Didn’t she know that I wanted a body of water? I changed back into my bikini, draaagged myself out the door and waited for a cab at the corner. What ifs ran through my head…what if I’m not allowed? What if A doesn’t want me to come to the pool? What if A isn’t even there? What if I have to hang out all by myself in the sun?What if I should stay home and do homework instead? The cycle ran and ran until I arrived at the hotel and a porter directed me upstairs to the pool. I brushed A’s arm, and in happy surprise she looked up and said, “Hey! I’m so glad you are here!”
I like the ridiculousness of this story. I also like the truth of it. It’s sometimes a little too easy to get mad at every other factor (and myself) for everything wrong..and yet when I start choosing the interactions I wish to have with the world at that moment (whether that choice be to have a pity-party in my bed and watch 3 hours of Netflix or to haul a cab no matter how much energy it takes to the nearest pool or tell myself the truth about how fast I can run) it’s empowering, a lightening of a load. And let’s be honest..it’s also still a battle. I go through this thing where I say, “Okay, I know the world doesn’t owe me anything.” And I think (and perhaps I am) that I am working so hard on myself and yet I keep getting confronted with the same sort of conflict that has to do with this theme. And then the pity party starts: “But I’ve done my work! Why am I still going through this??” And to the universe or perhaps to other people it is obvious that I still have more work to do, or this is just the way the world is right now, or whatever it is. It doesn’t matter. It is what it is. And that’s the way it always will be. What my interaction is with the waves is what’s going to keep me at peace or drive me into battle.