People rule. Seriously, people rule. This past 48-hours has been a whirlwind of emotions, and all ones which I can honestly say have come from the very incredible individuals who have affirmed and validated me one click, favorite, view, share, and retweet at a time. Let’s pause there for a moment, as chances are I’ll start sobbing with just a few more clicks of the keys.
Aside from all the affirmation I have received this week, I also have a friend who, consequently, is somewhat upset with me. A few weeks ago, she asked me to hold on to her house key, and I resisted. I was moving apartments two weeks later, followed by my three week sabbatication, and generally just did not really want to feel responsible for someone’s security deposit. I resisted, yet eventually gave in with fear that she would just mail me the key anyway, thus even more pressure. Needless to say, I harbored the key.
If you’ve moved in the past year, you will know that two things happen: shit ends up everywhere and anywhere, and also you have a mini-meltdown where things get thrown away, donated, or sold. Both happened to me. Alas, the key went missing for around one month. My friend texted me this week, asking to make arrangements for her key to be turned in, and in an already unorganized living arrangement, I fearfully informed her that I had not a single clue as to where I placed the key for protection and pause. Bummed, she responded with some sense of understanding, yet major disappointment. This leads me to point one of two:
Sometimes, the smell is you.
While eating breakfast this morning, I smelled something quite odd in odor. It wasn’t a bad smell, per say, but it certainly wasn’t pleasant. I assumed it might have had something to do with the packaging of my just-opened box of Honey Nut Cheerios, and went on to finish my morning rituals. Moments after arriving at work, the smell appeared again. Shit, it’s me, I thought. I brushed my teeth, and also have a clean pair of clothes on (yes, I know, this should be implied, but just go with me on this), and then it hit me. I didn’t put on deodorant today. I was crushed.
I vividly remember being 12-years old, and following a basketball game, my best friend’s mom came up to me and said, “Michael, you stink. It’s time to start wearing deodorant.” This particular friend was from New York, and his mom was known for being super blunt and straight to the point. I was horrified. I remember begging my parents for deodorant that very day, and have never been without a few swipes since (literally, I cannot go a day without deodorant – it’s a thing). Alas, today is probably the first day in well-over 10-15 years where I am not wearing deodorant. I digress, I’m addicted.
So, there I was, sitting at my desk, thinking I’m a stink-mess, planning to cancel all my meetings for the day in fear of losing social-capital. Just as a friend stopped in my office to say hi, I paused her mid-sentence and screamed, ‘’It’s my pants!” Of course, she looked at me like I was crazy, and then humored me as I explained my fear of smelling, and as soon as she departed my office, I took my pants off and inhaled with the most excited, yet disgusted gasp. It was my pants. I was the reason this smell kept following me around. This might be what I get from not washing a brand new pair of jeans, because just as I realized this, the smell actually then became the tart “new” smell (which, some probably actually like – I do not).
Now, let’s turn this into a metaphor. When everything around you feels like lemons, perhaps it’s actually you who is the lemon (metaphors on metaphors on metaphors). This moment is real, and raw. The things we avoid or maybe project upon someone/thing else, might actually, truthfully, actually just simply be us (me, you). Let that sink in for a minute, and Ill connect the pieces soon.
Follow the signs.
Without boring you with details, I have had quite an interesting past few weeks. Aside from my sabbatication through six different states over a period of three weeks, I also did a lot of personal-time and personal projects and experiences (i.e., “I am more,” my high school reunion, beautiful no-filter’d Oklahoma sunrises, etc.). Again, sans-boring details, some other stuff happened, which prompted my good friend to say to me, “Michael, follow the signs.” She was right, I wasn’t looking up. I was hoping that (more metaphors ahead), in this ‘drive’ of life, things would just be whispered to me via some miraculous energy or hope. Reality check: people get lost when they don’t look at directions. People get lost when they don’t trust the process. This is me, trusting the process.
Fast-forward to yesterday (in a, rewind-but-fast-forward-but-maybe-rewind-again, kind of way), I had a meeting yesterday with a former faculty member and total higher education-god, who helped me process something specific going on in my life (related to the signs, and the, me-smelling, bit). Before our conversation even started, I opened my notebook and out fell a key. I looked at it, and closed my book to engage in this, what turned out to be, phenomenal conversation. As I was walking out of the meeting, it hit me that the key that fell out of my book, was actually the key from my friend’s house. I put the key in that book around six weeks ago, with hopes of seeing it and having it ready and available to turn in for my friend. A sign (and hell, the key itself is quite the metaphor, if you know what I mean).
Trust the process, generally, the life process. And then go all in. Here’s to finding your key, your smell, and then truly, going all in.