It hit me today. I am a student. I am no longer employed. And I smiled. My heart felt lighter. My brain started jumping with ideas. If fact, over the past few days it’s been jumping like a frog addicted to amphetamines. Poetry ideas here. Storylines there. Moments of introspection. Deep thoughts from the regions of my mind I don’t usually sweep cobwebs from. It has been interesting. Part of this exciting process has been to come to the realization that while I loved my job and adored the organization that I worked for, it was not the right fit for me. The frog could not jump. It could not even hop, meander or sally forth is a sassy way. The frog had to stay on its lily pad and be happy catching the odd fly here and there. Imagine being a frog that can’t jump. Is forced to stay in one place, in one pond, on one pad with the same flower for company every day. I was that frog. Today my frog began to leap.
This picture is a good representation of me except I would never hurt a bee. Quite frankly I can’t see how a frog could eat a bee without getting stung but as I am not the artist, nor have I ever really been a frog, I will not judge. What drew me to the picture is that this frog is slightly unusual. I’ll let you peruse the image for a moment:
To me, this frog is very bright. We’ll go with “she” just to keep the analogy believable. She’s got funky little stripes on her legs. Her spotting is a little quirky. She’s got expressive eyes that are friendly and astute. You know she’s got her eye on that bee. Who says she is trying to eat him ? You might even think she is inviting the bee to have a chat. Maybe it’s just her unique way of saying hello ! See how her hands are waving ? She isn’t trying to distract him with her curvy tongue from the fact that he might get swallowed in to her gullet, she is saying “Hey! Over here ! Let’s share some ideas and see what we can come up with!” It’s possible. It’s so me.
I am the odd frog who talks a little too much. Who has so many ideas to share that they tumble out and can make people feel like I’m trying to swallow them whole rather than engage them in the creative process. I am forever wanting to hop from lily pad to lily pad trying to meet people and get ideas but only succeeding in splashing about and annoying people. Do you want to know why ? I keep trying to swim in the wrong pond. Rather than finding a pond where I can swim happily and be myself, I keep trying to fit on to someone else’s lily pad. And let me tell you, most people don’t want to share their pad with someone who has opinions, sees things just a bit differently and tends to jump around regardless of how unstable it might make things. Rocking the lily pad is not something that most people want to do.
So this is the frog I was becoming:
One who thought about every word coming out of her mouth. One who bottled up her creativity, stuck a MASSIVE freaking cork in it and tossed the bottle in the bottom of the murky, dank, creative sucking pond. One who was slowly but surely forgetting how to rock the lily pad never mind take single leap without worrying about getting in trouble or being told to sit still. And I didn’t even notice. I thought I was circumventing this slow decline by blogging and doing crafts with the Guides and decorating my journals with stickers. I’m not kidding. I resorted to stickers in order to be safely creative. I am in no way slagging stickers and have had a lifelong love / hate relationship with them. I love buying them but hate finding ways to use them. Having said that, someone at school today asked me if I had a Bedazzler at home. Perhaps I have embraced the sticker a bit too much for a 41 year old …
I digress. It’s that shiny thing factor that all of us who are fortunate enough to have ADD have to keep a handle on.
Needless to say, I felt the dissatisfaction growing. I felt sluggish and restless at the same time. I started to feel bad about myself, my skills, my abilities and doubting that I was ever going to find a pond that would accept me with my bright stripey legs, unusually bendy tongue and ability to leap about with great abandon and glee. And then I started school. I started to listen to the instructors. To really hear what their message to the class was: We want you to be creative. You will only be limited in this class by your own imagination. Think of new ideas. How can you look at this situation differently ? And my heart began to tremble with excitement this morning as I absorbed the fact that I would no longer be getting in trouble for being exactly who I am. That being a creative thinker would be an asset. That thinking outside the box would not only be encouraged but celebrated. That taking leaps and jumps will be a good thing.
And this is how I felt inside:
Now doesn’t that look better ? I know I am starting to feel better. How I felt before had nothing to do with where I worked. It had nothing to do with the job I was in. It had nothing to do with my co-workers, boss, or anything like that. It had to do with me. It had everything to do with me not finding the right pond and just making do. I think this is what school is going to do for me. It is going to make me appreciate myself again and understand that my creative process is not something to be ashamed of or embarrassed by. If I get nothing else out of the next year, I think that will be worth every penny. To gain back the ability to leap would be a truly freeing experience.