Tuesday, May 21, 2013
Me vs. Little Plastic Strip
I almost burst into tears in the Target parking lot today trying to open an Advil bottle. It was one of those little travel tubes sealed with that little strip of plastic to ward off all potential toxins and tamperers. A little strip of plastic with no helpful perforation, it was an un-collaborative protective seal. I used my fingernails, my keys, and I eventually conquered this formidable foe. It seems like a small obstacle and insignificant victory in the scheme of things, yet in that moment it proved to be a vital accomplishment in a day full of daunting antagonists:
A reluctant young prince who refused to stir from his slumber to partake in the customs of formal education
A relentless teacher revealing the Achilles heel of aforementioned prince in the death-defying deeds of test-taking and reading comprehension
A ruthless merchant discontinuing the sweet sustenance of the Jumble cookie meant for an indulgent meal
All these dragons blocking my way in the enchanted forest that was my day, they seemed to be in cahoots to vanquish optimism. And then the most fearsome one of all…the little plastic protective strip. Smallest in size, yet mightiest of all since it shrewdly waited to challenge me last. My defenses were down from the strip’s brethren of dragons. How could the mettle of my emotional psyche take one more blow, fend off one more blast of fiery breath, wield one more broadsword of perseverance?
The urge to flee, arms flailing, screams piercing, tail resolutely between my legs was overwhelming, and I flirted with it’s siren call by momentarily giving my tears permission to well. Yet in that moment, in an instant I found a crumb of courage, which held the dam of salty disappointment at bay. I stared down the little plastic strip, pulled my tiny sword, which bore a striking resemblance to a Honda Civic key, and sliced my foe in twain. I freed the Advil, and gladly welcomed its healing magic to break the spell cast by my own brain, bewitched to believe that chaos could be controlled. The Dragon Brethren of dashed hopes would have to slink away to their lair unsatisfied today.
It was an epic battle waged by foes so seemingly small they could be dismissed as harmless, or the products of an over reactive mind. Yet when they join forces, they have the power to bring down days and alter the course of a struggling self-esteem. The seduction of surrender is so hard to resist, and some days the dragons win. But not today my friends, no, not today.