Yesterday, on my way back from work, I suddenly got car sick. It started with a funny feeling in my stomach, a weird churning, then it snaked up from my stomach to my chest, my throat… I was breathless. I tried to take in air, but I couldn’t. There was traffic and exhaust fumes and I swear, I could’ve died on the spot.
When it looked like I was going to barf at any minute, I unfastened my seat belt and sped from the car. I didn’t care that it was in the middle of the bridge and that I was possibly obstructing traffic, I just needed fresh air. I stood at the edge of the bridge, bent over, and gulped in huge amounts of fresh sea air. And slowly, the barf reflex passed.
It was then that I finally saw the water. Blue green and so beautiful. The tide was high and the breeze made the water dance in the dying light of day. I thought to myself… If I jumped into the water now, if I let myself sink to the bottom, let the cold water envelop me, if I held my breath till I couldn’t breathe anymore… would I just let go? Or would I suddenly start swimming to the top?
I think about all my experiences and I can liken it very much to that imagined water experience. At the times when I have thought that I did not care, that I could let myself go, that I could take any kind of treatment, that I could “manage”… at these times, I did not let myself go. I fought, and surprised myself in the process.
See… I have always thought myself to be this laid back person who did not give a damn about anything and could take all flavours and degrees of bullshit. I did not want to be that no-nonsense person. Nah. I did not see how it could blend with my wacky side.
Now mostly, I am that laid back person. I am the tumble weed in the wind. Big things never bother me and I can mostly shrug off experiences as though they did not happen. But let it just get too much. The moment I begin to feel like I am being treated less than I deserve, the second I begin to feel less than I know I am, I spring to life. Like a flipping Lazarus. And when that happens, there is no stopping me. I am like a boomerang. I boom and pow and bam my way out of the offending situation. Until I can breathe, until I sense that I am free, then I will relax, and let the laid back existence continue.
So yes, in as much I smile with my two front teeth and wiggle like a worm when I please, in as much as I am content to play the court jester and town idiot, the truth is that when push comes to shove, I smoothly drop the invincibility cloak. Yes, I am the no-nonsense person. I have zero tolerance for bullies and people who like to take advantage of other people. It is unless I do not want it but if I want something, I will fight like a Viking until I get it. What’s more, I am not even content to be in the background. Imagine that? I always thought I could be the subservient serf. But alas, not true. Some of us were born to not just exist. Some of us are extra and a few. Such that no matter how hard you try to squelch it, like a beast, the extra and a few, it always comes roaring to the surface.
Discovering this about myself has made me more relaxed and open to experiences. I am not scared to be hurt or maimed or whatever. Not anymore.
Because I know that when it starts getting to the point where it might get bad for me, my trusted engines will come to life and for the life of me, I will not be able to take it anymore. Self preservation kicks in and I will hustle to be free. I have seen this happen many times over and each time, I am always pleasantly amused. I have seen way too much sorrow inflicted on others to let myself be inflicted by it. I choose happiness above all. Happiness according to how I define it. I choose it every time.
The rest be damned.
The same reason that makes me swim for the surface is the same reason that made Mandela fight back. The same reason that made Martin Luther King rage. The same reason that makes gay people protest their rights. The bloody same reason that makes the world revolt against terrorism.
Self preservation. Freedom from hurt inflicted by others and the right to be hurt on our own terms. We do not want to be sucked under. Whatever we represent, we fight for it to stay in existence. We will not be shoved around and poked with needles. The right to be comfortable under the sun. That is all. Oui… this is how I know… this is how I came to the conclusion that yes, truly, honestly, I would make a very very very bad slave. But maybe not such a bad Khaleesi. I think. Heh heh heh.
Snap! My head comes back up and I suddenly remember where I am. I look around me and I can see people looking at me like some monkey in a cage. I calmly step away from the bridge and walk back to the car. Home bound I am.
Barf reflex and monkeys and all.