I’ve been doing a lot of thinking and musing, while running round like a bluetailed fly.
I’ve spent my life as the proverbial square peg being hammered into a round hole; so much so that I feel I have actually lost my real shape and have become an amorphous blob that squidges and squeezes and stretches to fit whatever space is available. I also feel this is reflected too in my struggles not to turn into the Fat Lady at the Fair.
OK, you could say I’m flexible or adaptible. Or that I am multi-talented and able to turn my hand to anything. All of which are true enough.
What I am getting at is the constant erosion of my perception of who I am and where I fit in this life. I’m many things, obviously. A teacher, a healer, a mother, a wife, a writer, a poet, a ….well, fill in whatever label you feel might fit me from what you’ve seen and read here. But beyond all those things, who and what am I?
My current profession is a poor fit, to be honest. Don’t get me wrong, I am a good teacher, a very good one if I set aside false modesty. I’m a bloody good guide and courier. But to do these things, something essential to my soul is shunted to that inner “backroom” like an old carpet bag waiting for collection at the end of the day. I don’t pretend to be anything, or anyone. But a huge section of the real, the essential ME is missing.
I constantly have to monitor what I say among people, constantly simplify my language, my choice of topic. Some of that might be put down to being among folks whose first language isn’t mine, but even so, you’d think I’d be able to speak my thoughts in the staff room. I thought so too, until someone had a go at me last year.
Life for me is the Bed of Procrustes. You may remember the story of the Greek chappy who made his overnight guests sleep in a bed that supposedly fit everyone perfectly. Well, if the guest’s head was over the head end of the bed, Procrustes whopped it off with a sword. Ditto the feet. If someone was too short, he mashed them and bashed them out until they did. He met his end at the business end of Theseus’ sword, but his legend lives on.
I simply don’t fit.
As far as I know, I don’t fit anywhere. Apart from the fact that the interview I went to last week was almost certainly pointless because they’d already earmarked their internal candidate, I would not have been appointed because I would have been too good for the job. I know too much; I’ve read too much. I’d have made the others feel very uncomfortable. And I hate that. I don’t feel superior to anyone, and yet, it seems as if people perceive that I must.
I’m too big for Procrustes’ bed.
So what goes, then, my head or my feet?
Or should I be a modern day Theseus and in some strange esoteric way beat the bully and free myself?
Answers on a postcard…
No, really. Any ideas of how to beat this metaphor and ease my own reality would be gratefully read. I’m increasingly uncomfortable.