The Accidental Podcaster: I Am a Motherf***ing Shark
Summer has always been my least favorite season. I hate being hot. I hate the earth being dry and cracked. I hate the grass turning brittle and brown. I hate the bugs. I especially hate the air being so humid that stepping out of my house smacks me with the instant sensation that I’m drowning - I get worse chest colds in July and August than hypochondriacs get in the middle of flu season. What I hate most, however, is that whiney, restless feeling that comes when I have tons of things to do but the heat makes me not want to do anything.

Going into last week’s entry, I realized I was coming dangerously close to getting stuck in whine country sans any drinkable wine to put me in a better mood. Most people take these moments of self-enlightenment and put them to immediate use - take a walk, have a nap, binge watch TV shows until they’re less grouchy. Which, side note, if you have not become addicted to AMC’s Turn yet, stop everything and go Netflix it right now. Seriously. I’ll wait.


Wasn’t that AMAZING? We can talk about it later. I have to get back to this entry.

Because I don’t react to life situations the way normal people do, this realization of my whine tour, rather than being immediately helpful, just compounded the situation. The temperatures were rising near 100, and tensions in Cleveland were high as convention week started. I was hot, I was stressed, and by that point I was so irritated with being irritated that I actually started to whine about my own whininess. It is times like that where afterwards I am amazed that my friends still talk to me. We were quickly reaching critical levels, and I wasn’t sure what was going to break first.

Just after that entry went to print, and I was lamenting everything I could have done better with the post (another thing I do a lot) as well as everything I still had to do for our commencement ceremony and On Tap and the writing program and life in general and just basically wanting to say “YOU WIN, SUMMER. I QUIT. THANK YOU FOR THIS HEAT WAVE ON TOP OF EVERYTHING ELSE TO GIVE ME A READY ANALOGY TO HOW I AM IN A SPECIAL CIRCLE OF HELL,†my phone dinged with a message from our friends over at the Zombie Dance Party. This is the picture that came up:


This gave me pause.

It was the perfect thing to come up at exactly the right time. And it’s dead-on. Sharks are too busy being badasses to waste time complaining about Mondays or heat waves or deadlines. They’re busy chasing stuff and biting things and scaring people and being awesome.

And at that same moment, I happened to look up from my desk as Boss was walking through the door. Behind her, shuffling through the lobby of our building, was another woman of I’d guess roughly the same age who very clearly looked like she had given up on life. The contrast was super noticeable, and connected with the clue zapped to my phone just a moment before made for a powerful message: in life, each and every one of us each and every day has to make the choice whether we are going to be sharks or seaweed in the Ocean of Life. Seaweed doesn’t go anywhere - it’s a plant, rooted to the same spot unless ripped out by forces beyond its control or eaten by a more advanced species. Likewise, seaweed-type people are rooted to the same spot most of their lives. They might grow a little bit, but they’re so common and static that they rarely make anyone’s notice, unless they’re about to be (proverbially) eaten.

Sharks, however, are dynamic - they may take some hits and bear a few scars, but they’re the ones out there putting in the late nights and the early mornings, chasing dreams, taking a bite out of problems, doing the things that scare the shit out of lesser fish who aren’t up to the challenge. They don’t whine about heat waves - such things are outside of the sphere of things they give a crap about. What they care about is swimming around, kicking ass, and showing the rest of the ocean why they are at the top of the oceanic food chain. My friends Sam and Katherine are definitely shark. So are most big entrepreneurs, like Richard Branson or Oprah Winfrey. Boss is so shark that if she showed up to the office one morning with a fin ducktaped to her back, I wouldn’t be surprised in the least.

This is what I needed to be reminded of: I am a motherf***ing shark.

I have to be. I refuse to just float there like a dead carp, or wiggle about like seaweed, rooted to one place until somebody else comes along to nibble me down until I die. Screw that. I was meant for more, RCM is meant for more, and it was about time I hopped off my baking dock back into the sea and started doing something about it.

Just as soon as that last episode of Turn is over ;)
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