I realized this today as I FINALLY read a handout I picked up at the counseling center where I took some classes in mindfulness months ago. It goes basically like this: We are all driving a “life-bus” and through our lives, we’ve picked up “people” in the form of experiences, knowledge, emotions, etc…. We have monsters in our bus as well as sweet, quiet, intelligent passengers. When we are driving in the wrong direction, the sweet, quiet, intelligent passengers speak up in their sweet, quiet, intelligent way. We have to be willing to listen. Then, when we start driving in the right direction, the monsters get agitated and start speaking up and trying to confuse us. We have to be willing to know that they are wrong. We have to be willing to see when we are driving our bus in the right direction.
I was chosen to be a Mermaid Club Ambassador!
But what I’ve come to realize in these last several weeks of Mermaid-ship is it doesn’t matter. Whether you get it or you don’t – whether you think it’s cute or crazy or brilliant or just a waste of time, it doesn’t matter. Because I know it’s what I want.
I wanted to be connected to a group of seriously badass women athletes. I wanted the inspiration and the accountability of a group like this so that I felt supported in deepening my commitment to tri-training, my own health, and my journey to helping others make healthier lives for themselves.
I said I wanted to be a Mermaid Club Ambassador and then I became one.
I said I wanted to be a group fitness instructor and an aquatics fitness instructor specifically so I could better design a Mermaid Fitness ™ program – and I am.
(As it turns out, if you go way back into my past, this is just pretty much what I do – I said I was going to go to college and I did, said I was going to marry my high school sweetheart and I did, said I would get my Master’s degree and I did – said I would join the Peace Corps and I did – said I would get divorced and I did -- said I would get my Master of Fine Arts degree – and I did. Said I would find a man to have a baby with and I did. None of these things happened exactly as I had imagined but they happened. I made them happen. Sometimes in an extremely clumsy way that didn’t look much like success at the time – but that’s what it was and is.)
Does it matter that to a large portion of the world, the idea of any grown-ass woman dressing up in a mermaid tail to workout let alone leading other women on that mission sounds utterly silly? Does it matter that to a large portion of the world, becoming a late-blooming triathlete is unthinkable? Pointless? To my monsters, it sometimes does. I’m driving my bus in the right direction. I know I am. Especially because when I’m driving in the truly right direction I never know EXACTLY where I’m headed. I have a vague outline, a vague desire but no absolute destination. THAT is always where I have felt my happiest and most alive. But, lately my monsters are trying to tell me I don’t deserve to feel this way, I don’t deserve to get what I want, I’ll never be able to succeed in doing what I think it is I’m doing.
Funny, my monsters have been louder before. They’ve even pushed me out of the way and driven the damn bus from time to time. But I’m starting to see them as funny. Those ridiculous voices telling me I can’t do what I want, can’t be what I want. They are so pathetic and scared and dumb. They used to run riot on my bus, graffiti everywhere, loud music, screaming and swearing and generally carrying on…. Now, they’re just sort of stupid in the corners, pathetically grumbling to themselves. I listen to them for a minute or two and then I giggle and the sweet, quiet, intelligent passengers and I have a good laugh at them and we say, “okay, then, settle down little monsters! We’ve got this. You keep grumbling and carrying on if you want but no one is listening to you anymore.” Honestly, I think some of them have even decided to get off the bus as I’ve stopped here and there. I know I lost a few in New Mexico 14 years ago. And I definitely left one or two behind in Boston in 2002. They get tired of being ignored, I guess. They just hop off the bus when I stop listening. I don’t even notice they’ve gone.
Except that suddenly I can hear the quiet, intelligent passengers again saying encouraging things like “go on with it, then… If you’re going to be a Mermaid, you might as well just go ahead and be a Mermaid and stop trying to pretend to be anything else… why be less than what you want to be?”
Well, that’s just the point of this whole Mermaid thing, isn’t it? The little monsters have a hard time derailing me when I’m wearing a tail. Is there any creature more indifferent to ridicule than a Mermaid? Not on my bus. Mermaids don’t have time for little monsters. Not the little monsters who tell them to skip their long run. Not the little monsters who tell them they don’t deserve chocolate. Not the little monsters who tell them they look silly swimming around like that, thinking they’re all fancy. Mermaids don’t have time for any of that. And Mermaids don’t even bother yelling back at the monsters or kicking them off the bus. Mermaids are just so above it that the monsters get bored and get off the bus. There goes another one, right there.
My Great Lakes Mermaid Sprint-Triathlon Tour this summer is one
And this tour will bring in the launch of The Great Lakes Mermaid Association which will be a Mermaid Fitness ™ sponsored non-profit to raise money for the preservation of the Great Lakes and our shores.
And I’m making it happen
Cause I’m a mermaid
And I told you that before
So I hope you believed me.
And all I ultimately want from this… all I really want… is to support YOU on your journey of being or becoming the creature you were born to be too because that’s the creature that’s going to get all of YOUR little monsters off the bus! So that you can get on with your bad self too!
I know I’m a Mermaid. What are you?
Ignore all of your little monsters with love!
Listen to all of your sweet, intelligent passengers with love!
Move your tail, with love!
And, as ALWAYS, cook and eat with love!
Namaste, drivers! Vaya Con Dios!
Love, Your QP