I feel like a caged animal.
My calendar is full. My schedule is busy. I have lots of important things to do and places to go and people to see.
You know those animals in the zoo? Not the little guys, or the reptiles. The big ones. Lions. Bears. You know the type.
Their environment dictated by walls and fences.
In the wild, they’d be roaming. Covering hundreds of kilometres in search of food. A mate. Family. Migrant. Moving. Going somewhere with some purpose.
But in the zoo, they are confined. And so they go. But it’s around and around. Wearing a path on the perimeter of the enclosure. Always moving. Going nowhere.
In a rut.
That’s how I feel.
I’ve erected walls and isolated myself in an enclosure. It keeps me safe and spectators firmly at a distance. I don’t let many people in. And I rarely venture out.
It’s generous in size, and yet, it’s more confining than what I was made for. I was made to be in the wild. Created for more than what I am doing. Going around and around. In my self-imposed rut.
Even the fact that I am writing this affirms my cyclical nature. Every September I make New Year’s resolutions. Every January, I refuse to make New Year’s resolutions. Every Spring I lament that my pants don’t fit. Every week, I commit to eating better and exercising more consistently. Regularly I resolve that I will begin writing again.
It’s like an album with a scratch in the vinyl; the same phrase or chord over and over again. I’m so very tired of it.
I half-heartedly try to break patterns. I step to one side of the rut or the other. It’s not that I’m doing nothing. I try. I have good intentions.
But some days, every little obstacle sends me right back onto the familiar and safe path.
I withdraw a little more, determined to shield myself from whatever conflict or upheaval threatens.
Threatens what though? Threatens to make me uncomfortable? What is it exactly that I keep protecting myself from? Since when did discomfort become the enemy?
Carefully, I place my feet, one in front of the other, in the path that is so comfortably worn. It’s easy there. And, it’s evident to me that my rut is so deeply carved that I need a ladder to climb out of it.
I can no longer look out and see the walls of my enclosure. I can only look up and see the sky.
Today though, the sky is blue.
It looks like hope.
Today looks like a good day to walk a different path. To take a flying leap off a cliff even.