|Gotta tell somebody.|
One evening, I looked around and started to cry. There have been several times in my every day life in which I unwittingly reflect on all my failures... This evening was no different. I began to wonder: I graduated from college with a useless degree, I don't have a steady job that keeps me with money, I still live with my parents, I'm still single without kids. Then I asked myself:
"What am I doing wrong? I've tried so hard to do what's expected of a woman my age and intelligence; why am I not getting anywhere?"
Needless to say, all of my self-questioning led nowhere but into tears. And then a light like a candle shone on the figure of a Red-Tail Hawk. It perched on the back on my chair, its talons digging deep into the wood. It cocked its head to one side and it looked into my eyes.
"Why are you upset?" it asked as gently as possible.
I frowned. “Because I'm not what other people want me to be, that's why.”
"Why do you care what they want?" It seemed to shrug its wings.
I shook my head. “I don't know.”
The hawk adjusted its hold on my chair and appeared to be insulted. "What about what you want, Holly? Aren't you worth enough to yourself that for once you can forget about what other people think and just do what makes you happy?"
I nodded. “Perhaps.”
"And don't you think you owe to yourself to get out of your own cycle of thinking?" It blinked at me, daring me to gainsay it.
“I guess,” I told it. “Maybe my problem is indecisiveness.”
The hawk scoffed indignantly. "And then what? So you don't know exactly what's out there; so what?"
I bit my lip. “Doesn't that make me slow?”
"Who says life is a race?” the hawk asked, preening nonchalantly at its pinions.
“Dunno. Mother Nature? Apparently, she didn't want to give us women all the time we need to get married and reproduce, while she gave men unlimited access to spread their seed across the world. Makes me pissed off.” I felt my eyebrows lower in anger.
"Don't turn this into a feminist argument. We're talking about Holly; not women in general. What does Holly want for herself?" The hawk was insistent.
I shrugged, and told it plaintively, “I want what anybody wants. I want to do something worthwhile that makes me and others happy.”
"Why others? Why not just yourself?" It dared to peer closer at me.
“Because making other people happy makes me happy,” I answered, figuring I sounded like a good Samaritan.
My hawk friend just clicked its tongue inside its beak. "You're missing the point. What do you want to do for just yourself? What you’re doing right now, Holly, is basing your self-worth on what other people think. You’re better than that.”
I closed my eyes. “What else am I supposed to do in today’s society?”
“Go against the grain. Instead of choosing a well-worn path, go where there is none, and leave a trail for others to follow. This is old wisdom.”
I sighed and cracked my knuckles. “What if no one else takes the trail after me?”
“Then you alone will stand out,” said the hawk. “And if you fail to make the path behind you permanent, there are several opportunities to rake the half-completed trail over, then start a new one.”
“Humans only live so long,” I muttered. “It’s not fair!”
“You are correct,” the hawk confirmed. “Life is not fair. But it’s in how you choose to balance out the unfairness that dictates who you are as a person.”
I remained silent. Waiting. Wondering.
“Look at this way: As hard as it was, did you give up in college?”
I shook my head.
“And when things in your love life got tough and unbearable, did you give up on that?”
I shook my head again.
“I know you never give up on your friends. But you should also remember not to give up on yourself. You have your mission in life: be your own person and you will achieve your happiness.”
“But what about…?” I started.
The hawk hissed at me. “There are no ‘buts’, child. You are who you are, and since you can’t change the way you were born, you might as well do your best to be that person.”
“So now I have to live up to my own expectations?”
“Well,” said the hawk. “It’s better than living up to others’.” It started to scratch at its head with a claw.
“Because I can raise and lower my own expectations at will?”
The hawk stopped scratching. “Now you’re getting it.”
“Okay,” I said, getting ready to count on my fingers. “So, 1) I make my own expectations. 2) I make decisions based on how it will get me to those expectations. 3) Once I meet them, I raise the bar just a bit. 4) Keep going.”
“You’re missing a step,” the hawk pointed out. “The preliminary step is to forget what’s known as fair and unfair, because frankly, that’s man’s way of placing blame on anything but themselves. The other side of that coin is this: to remember yourself and your wants and needs. Keep that in mind, and THEN set your expectations.”
I sighed just a bit. “I’m not good at multitasking.”
“That is of no importance. Do what you can with the time that you have, and focus on being and loving yourself. Otherwise you’ll stick yourself into a rut, as you are now.”
I grumbled. “But how do I start? How do I make my goals?”
“That will be your choice, my dear. Only you know what you can handle.”
“And if I overshoot the mark?”
“Lower your expectations.”
“And in that way I can pace myself?”
“Oh, indeed. You must pace yourself. If you go too fast for what you can handle, then you’ll be overwhelmed. If you do it too slow, it’ll feel like forever. Find a happy middle ground.”
“Okay. Forget the idea of fairness and remember to tend to my own needs and wants, then set goals based on my expectations of myself and what I know I can handle, pace myself with a happy middle ground, and then repeat.”
“… Until you get where you want,” the hawk added. “Then just focus on maintaining that position.”
“It sounds like the directions on a bottle of shampoo.”
“It can. But make no mistake; it’s not as easy as lather, rinse, repeat.” The hawk sounded like it was chuckling.
“I figured,” I told it, rather bitterly.
It chuckled again. “That’s the Holly I’m used to.”
“Who are you, anyway?” I asked.
The hawk was silent for a time. “If I sound a bit cryptic, don’t blame me… I am you, in a sense. Sort of like a mirror image of your subconscious. I am that little bit of your spirit that speaks reason to you. Although, I am annoyed that you seem to drown me own with your wailing so often.”
“I know.” I smiled.
The hawk seemed to smile too.
“You have a name?”
It blinked at me unabashedly, then answered, “Call me Ylloh” before giving me a wink and flapping its wings in preparation for takeoff.
“Will you come back?” I asked.
Ylloh looked at me. “That depends on you, I suppose.”
I nodded. “I’ll keep an eye out.”
Ylloh inclined its head. “Good.” Then it flew to my ceiling, soaring in circles until it vanished into the plaster.
Whether my feverish mind conjured the thing, I’ll never know. But it sure gave me some great advice.
I love DeviantArt! It's a wonderful community where I can find people just as weird as I am. |
I like the Beatles.
I like the Young Ones, a 1980s British comedy TV show.
My art is usually done in Photoshop CS3 and Flash.
I write most every day. I aim to become a freelance writer.
I listen to music every day. I can't go through a whole day without it.
I play a multitude of musical instruments, but my favorite is the mandolin.
I love to sing.
I also write my own music and lyrics. Now if only I could get them on the radio!
I like feedback on my work, so if you have something to say, please say it!
I believe in angels!
I love the TV show 'Gunsmoke'; for some reason I keep dreaming about Marshal Dillon (played by James Arness). I also like the show 'Bonanza'... and some of its characters: Little Joe Cartwright (played by Michael Landon) and Griff King (Tim Matheson), mainly.
I love Star Wars and Luke Skywalker, but goddammit I f***ing HATE Mara Jade!!! Do not, I seriously mean DO NOT get me started on how much I HATE that orange hairball that someone's cat hacked up!!! She is NOT welcome in my personal Star Wars universe...
Have fun here, guys!
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