Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Self Fulfilling Prophecies

I'm sure you've had those moments... the ones in which you know better than to do what you are about to do. Your choices are bright and shiny- very visible sitting in front of you. Yet you choose the one you know you shouldn't. Subconsciously, and more often than not consciously aware that what you are about to do is going to result in a certain unfavourable consequence.
That's called not listening to your gut.
We all (for the most part) know what is best for ourselves. Often though, we second guess and choose the later because it's safer. Or is some type of lazy denial. I've had that moment in my life, where my gut is screaming out for me not do what I am about to do. To stop, slow down and take the time to do it right. Or not do it at all...

Being somewhat short and a bit of clutter bug when I was younger I prided myself on being a collector of collections. I had over 150 pen pals from all over the world who I wrote to religiously, writing letters was my way of getting through High School in one piece. Some girls had sex, some girls did drugs, some girls drank till they threw up, some girls graduated a year early. This girl, she wrote letters. I started collecting stamps around the same time. I learnt how to lift them off the envelops so not to tear them. Drying them so they would curl into little penne shaped thing-a-ma-bobbers. I kept them loose in a box until I had time to put them into albums. One afternoon I was tidying up my room and feeling very ambitious I decided to tackle the box which was starting to overflow. I still remember standing on my tiptoes on top of the no-step step of a ladder. Reaching up to try and grab the open box I remember clearly stopping half way and thinking to myself. "Blanche, you know... you can't reach those without moving the stuff in front of them. You should stop, take your time and move the stuff. If you don't, you're going to dump the whole lot and that's going to be a bitch to clean up." You see, I didn't just risk spilling stamps but the box of stuff in front of the box of stamps was filled with thousands of tiny loose beads. I stopped and thought, weighing my options. Take the time to move the beads in order to ensure that all went well in retrieving the stamps. The down side to that was that would be taking an extra 15 seconds to get them, get off the ladder and then climb back up the ladder. I was 16 at the time... I had things to do and places go. Letters to write and stamps to put in little slots. I didn't have 15 seconds to spare so I chose to go right for it. Grab those stamps and hope the best! Well, sure enough- the whole lot spilt. Hundreds of stamps, thousands of tiny little beads, and me. It took me over an hour to clean up the mess. I couldn't just vacuum up the beads either, I had to get on my hands and knees, picking them out of the fibers in the carpet. I remember cursing myself and saying "Let this be lesson- never to doubt your gut again."

I stuck with that for a while, listening to my intuition. It wasn't until I was 23 and with a new boyfriend did I face a moment like that again. It was late into the night and I remember kneeling on the couch of our condo looking out the window into the back alley. He had just left again to deal something that was going on that night. Everything in my body was telling me to get the hell out of there. To call my mum to pick me up and get out of that situation. It didn't matter that I had just moved my stuff in. It didn't matter that it was the middle of the night. It didn't matter that this wasn't a lifestyle that I wanted. There I was again confronted with my two shiny options- clear as day. To leave or to stay... Everything intelligent in me screamed for me to run. But, I stayed soothing myself with the thought that I was doing the right thing. That I was brave to confront the situation rather than running away. Even though I can say I learnt allot from staying I would admit that might be my only regret in life. I sometimes think I would trade all the wisdom I acquired from those years with him just to have those years back without him. I did finally listen to my head and got out. I swore to myself that I would NEVER doubt my gut again.

Until tonight... I was busy in the kitchen making dinner. I already had my pj's on which I must admit are the rattiest pj's I own. They consist of an old Feist concert T-Shirt that I cut the neck out of. The cotton is so thin I often wear a tank top underneath just to be respectable. My bottoms were a pair of worn out men's undies with a hole in the bum. So comfortable and so not social situation appropriate. The trash was getting full and I thought to myself. "My, that trash sure is full. Maybe I should sneak out into the hallway and throw it away. " but then I stopped myself because I thought "Oh but wait... what if I run into someone on the way to the trash shoot? I should really put something more respectable on... " and there I was, with my two shiny options in front of me. Clear as day... I second guessed my gut and snuck out into the hall way and sure enough everyone and their dog decided to come home right at that moment. I saw people I didn't even know lived on my floor! Saying hello and pretending nothing was wrong (or showing!) I chuckled to myself.
*Just a gentle reminder to trust my gut more often then not...*


Rolley said...

I really like this post, I think everyone to some extent does the same thing! Its a strange human habit hey, to instinctually know that you're making a bad judgement or something, then to do it anyway with reckless abandon! I definitely think the best way to learn is through experience, but, there's some things we just never learn!!! heh heh : )

amourissima said...

With the right attitude lots of fun can be hand with never learning!