The next two blogs from contributor Chris Berryman surround his recent trip to Africa, which he insists on working into every conversation. They aren’t really entertainment related, but Chris tells us these MAY be slightly entertaining in a round-about way to some people, which is, frankly, our fault for telling him he could write whatever he wanted
Africa. I’d flown 118 days across 800 time zones and was feeling dizzy from being upside-down in the Southern Hemisphere. So, cut me some slack.
Day Two in Africa. 5:00 p.m. We’d checked into our bungalow near Etosha National Park in Namibia. My friend, with some urgency, told me to hurry up, as it was time for sundowner and dinner al fresco. Not knowing what sundowner was and fearing we’d paid extra for it, I raced from the bathroom toward the room’s main door, stopping long enough to spray myself thoroughly with mosquito repellant for the walk to the main lodge.
As we exited the room, I asked, “Do we want to take the Doom with us in case the mosquitoes are bad?”
“What? You didn’t spray yourself with that, did you?” My friend’s expression was that of someone not quite sure whether to laugh or to dial the Africa-equivalent of 911.
Why his alarm? Doom (as it turns out, and let me be crystal-clear on this fact) is a CLEARLY LABELED insecticide with a MULTITUDE of easy-to-read warnings related to skin contact and the product’s intended purposes. I’d coated myself with Doom, a powerful insect killer…several times…in a row.
Years ago, a co-worker introduced me to the phrase, “He/she just can’t get out of his/her own way.” It’s great, right? Personally, it’s a perfect fit, as I crave the known, routine, and the extremely expected. I view ruts as a comfortable nest. It’s my way.
In Africa, I sprayed myself with Doom. Literally. But, I’d been figuratively spraying myself with doom for years. How often did I remind myself of my limits, faults, and past failures?
“Stay where you are.”
“Don’t even try.”
“You’ll screw it up like last time.”
Sound familiar? We stopped trying to get out of our own way years ago, and this epic piece of foreshadowing becomes our way of life and our ever-present safety net.
But back to the insect spray. I’m great and suffered no ill effects. In fact, my brush with doom was the catalyst for a few decisions the very next day. Among them:
Remind myself of past successes rather than failures
Take more risks.
Speak my MIND, even if that involves speaking from the HEART
It’s not easy to change such ingrained behavior that has seemingly paid off in the past. So, these past few weeks back in the US, I’ve been working without this safety net of dysfunction, and I’m making progress.
My question for you is will you put down your doom and take the risk with me?