When I turned 15 I walked away from my home, my family, my sisters and a circle of friends to start fresh and new with my divorced father. I followed my gut instinct, and to this day I know it was the right choice. When I turned 20 I applied for a job in Alberta, thousands of miles away, loaded what I felt was most needed in a huge trunk and again, left my home, my family, my circle of friends to start fresh on a “maybe”.
Two years later I felt compelled to return home. This time home meant where I grew up. Where my mother and sisters still lived, and where new nieces greeted me with anticipation and smiles.
When the time was right I’ve always had the capacity to walk away. And not look back. The walking away is a breeze, the not looking back is a challenge. Lately I’ve come to realize I’ve been struggling with this skill. Both parts of them: walking away and not looking back.
Ever seen a dog playing with a ball? He’s holding on to a goopy and saliva covered tennis ball in his mouth, refusing to let it go. When you toss him another ball, he runs to it. He stops before the new ball and looks down upon it. His disgusting slime ball is dripping in his mouth and yet he looks at the new ball on the ground waiting for his tender love and affection.
He can’t hold both balls in in yapper. Because he hasn’t got thumbs (or so Brian Griffith told me he hasn’t been blessed with thumbs) so he can’t pick up the new shiny ball with his paw. And still, he stands there with a slow whine of anticipation wanting the new ball and yet holding on to old-droopy in his mouth.
Then he barks. He wags his tail, walks around the ball, once, twice, hops up and down and circles around a third time. Now he looks at you and if he could speak he would surely say “Are you trying to kill me here?” As much as Fido wants the new bouncy ball yet un-slimed by his drooling mouth, he refuses to let go of the old one. The one that lost all bounce.
That dog is me. But don’t you dare call me a dog, unless it’s MurrDawg like an old colleague called me. MurrDawg – that was a cool nickname.
And I need to picture myself as this Fido to back away from my situation and laugh at myself. Yesterday I received what I consider the nail in the coffin – Trader Joes declined to invite me for an interview. I looked at that letter over and over again. And then I thought to myself “I could go all ‘Oh-woe-is-me’ over this, or I could just go to Tahiti!” Incredibly enough, sailing to Tahiti is the consolation prize to a job at Trader Joes. And that’s when I finally started laughing at myself. A good deep belly laugh.
I dropped that stinking old tennis ball and walked towards the nice new shiny one.
Sit Ubu, sit. Good dawg!
I saw this quote on Christine MacDonald‘s FB wall last week. It’s been running over and over in my head ever since. It’s all about the timing right? And man, does this ever ring true to me.