It took me a long time to grow into myself. Not just because my brain needed some time to catch up and adapt to the constantly extending limbs of my nearly six foot frame, but also it took longer than I’d like to admit to develop some fluency in . . . prudence. There were many, many painful moments of learning that I didn’t need to voice every part of every question to the world and maybe I could just, like, have some internal dialogue about it first.
What can I say, I’m an external processor. Clearly. I mean, you’re reading this, right?
I grew up in a town so small and rural we generally had to travel over 75 miles to play sports with other schools of similar size. Modoc, our rival team, was just shy of a five hour bus drive. Late in the volleyball season of my senior year we arrived one afternoon at that high desert court, and, having indulged in several bottles of soda along the way, I ran immediately to use the bathroom to relieve myself.
I remember that the door was a little stiff when I entered the stall and that I had to step nearly into the toilet to move far enough in to be able to close the door behind me. As I was in quite a hurry I didn’t stop to think about why that might have been or that I may want to exhibit some cautiousness when using it again. As I began to exit I pushed the door away from me and took a step forward. The door promptly slammed back and directly into my face.
Startled, I yelped and then. . .
Pushed it forward again.
SNAP! Another smack the face.
Still bewildered and now mildly panicked I was stuck in this tiny portal to 1962, I pushed the door outwards . . .yet again.
After the third whack to the head I finally realized I needed to take a step back, straddle the rusty commode and open the door by pulling it in, not pushing it out.
Why is this important?
Because now you know how the rest of my story has gone.