Sometimes we all get stuck in the mud, and after today – I was reminded, that it’s okay. Getting stuck in the mud gives us the opportunity to get out of the mud. Yes, I am in the midst of using a very cliché metaphor in which to demonstrate a life lesson.
I woke up with that all too daunting feeling that I was on the wrong side of the bed. I wondered if my sleeplessness the prior night with all its tossing and turning had landed me on the incorrect side mistakenly. I rolled over and hit snooze several times praying for the universe to appease me from the grip of a bad day pending.
After I hit the snooze button for the third time, I realized if I did so even once more – getting to work on time would not be a feasible reality. I got dressed vowing to shake the bad juju from my body and by 10:40 A.M. I was ready to tackle my Thursday, and I was going to be early to work. I strode down the stairs sometimes skipping one or two at a time with a renewed sense of energy and intention for the day.
This was until I got outside and saw my car sunken into about 6 inches of pure, unadulterated sludge. My backyard was the Candy Land chocolate swamp except considerably less yummy and delicious. I half expected the character “Gloppy” to rise out of the whole mess. At first I thought – “You got this Tanya.” After several minutes of struggle (let’s also keep in mind I’m not so gifted behind the wheel) I took a deep breath and admitted defeat. I called my friend and co-worker Mary-Beth to the rescue, muscled my way into work late and prepared to start my day.
Now work wasn’t terrible with the exception of one terrible woman at one terrible table who continuously sent things back and forth with the frequency of the United States Postal Service. She wanted to argue about the implications of how most people liked their asparagus cooked and my version of arguing was to be saccharin sweet as humanly possible and to do whatever it took to make her some version of happy. This is one thing about serving that can be exhausting.
Needless to say, knowing I had Gloppy to face as soon as I went home didn’t exactly set me up for being in the best mood and all I could possibly fathom was being the best I could be with my guests, and then I was filled with sublime relief when the end of my shift was in sight. Mary-Beth asked me how bad it was. I replied “Picture really bad, and then picture worse than you’re thinking.”
Mary-Beth could only dissolve into her signature high pitched laughter when she saw the situation my car was in. Immediately I offered her a pair of hot pink boots (not exactly her style) and watched as she sunk as deep into the mud as my beloved Focus, considering how to approach this endeavor. We tried a myriad of tactics ranging from cardboard under the wheels, to sticks under the wheels, to just praying to sweet Baby Jesus my back tires would grip the back of the pavement that was so close yet so far away. At one point Mary-Beth went into my garage looking for a shovel and came back with a plastic pink gardening hoe that belonged to my four-year-old neighbor. I attempted to refrain from cry-laughing but it was really, really hard.
Long story short not only did I have to call Triple AAA for the final assist, but Mary-Beth also drove all the way back to her house with my keys in her pocket and then had to come back. When the truck finally came to pull me out my two adorable love muffins from downstairs (aged 4 and 6) brought out tiny chairs and were wrapped in blankets to watch. I had some satisfaction knowing that my nightmare was in fact – the highlight of their week.
They are the babies that make me want to have babies after all.
On the cusp of this incident we also had a “Where is this smell coming from and why?” episode on Bretton Road and I received a less than favorable newsflash on my end. It was like my never ending day was a hot fudge sundae and the cherries on top kept on coming.
But at the end of it all, all I could do was laugh. I will always remember when I did an interview when I was freelancing for FlawLes Magazine with comedian Vickie Shaw. This has always resonated with me. I said “You’ve referred to comedy as “cheap therapy” and noted that you became out and a comedian at the same time. Did humor help the coming out process for you?” She replied – “When something would bother me or I was having a problem or something was painful or whatever, whenever I got to a point I could laugh at it, then I was okay. I had worked through whatever the issue was. To me, comedy and laughing about something and being able to tell someone about it whether it was a little thing or a big thing was my acceptance. It is what it is, and life goes on. It doesn’t matter who you are or where you are in your life, there are things that are going to bother you, get on your nerves and make you mad. That’s normal. It’s how you handle it after the fact and accept it sooner than later that makes it okay. So as soon as I could laugh about something, I could accept it. Once I am able to talk about something, it was over with.”
At the end of the night, when all I can do is lay in bed and process my day – I can only find humor in the breakdowns of the day whether they be related to asparagus, mud, or matters of the heart. I can only feel grateful to have friends who will lay down in mud for me, and keep my head afloat when I want to lose it over the small stuff.
I find myself in the mucks of life more than I’d like to admit. Your feet get stuck, your car gets stuck, and you get stuck. It’s not every day, and it’s can snag you into the Candy Land trenches out of nowhere and release you at will but it’s a part of life. Maybe you can get yourself out, and maybe sometimes you need a little help from a friend. Maybe someday I’ll finally get my shit together and maybe I won’t. Maybe I’ll figure out who I want to be and where I want to go. Maybe I won’t. Maybe I’ll find someone to sleep next to besides my cat and share my life with – but I should bank on being okay without that.
There are so many things pulling me into the mud and all I want to do is get my tires out. I encourage you to smell out the finer things in life – what makes you tick, the passions that make you feel free – to not rely on anyone but yourself for happiness. As cliché as a Psychology enthusiast can be Carl Rodgers said this: “The good life is a process, not a state of being.” If anything is my mantra it is this – you will always be on a journey, and it won’t always be pretty or perfect. In fact; sometimes it could get a little muddy.