Once upon a time, I got myself into a lot of trouble. It was a slippery slope that I did not recognize or realize was such until I was at the bottom of the hill. It was a tall mountain, and the tumble was painful. Ever since, I’ve been vigilant to a fault. I grip the rope like my life depends one it, take careful steps, weary of where I tie off… (and this is the point I realize I don’t actually know enough about climbing to continue the metaphor. Oops. Hopefully the idea got across.)
I’m thinking about that time. One, I’ve been reading about Joyce Mitchell, the woman who was duped into believing she wasn’t about to be murdered by some former (about to be current?) murderers into aiding their escape. It starts with sympathy, and ends in smuggled hacksaw blades and sex at work. She did it because it made here feel more alive, and the tale is of an obvious grooming process. Oh, how the doldrums can be exploited by those who have ulterior motives. Oh, how naive can one be. I have never aided convicted murderers in escaping prison. Yet, I could relate to the gist of the story, the incremental nature and how one can believe something to be true.
Second, I am in an awkward circumstance, and it is beginning to feel like it’s on the metaphoric incline. I began to pursue a path as it appeared, on the surface, to align with some of my more big-picture goals. I’ve felt uneasy about it because it became clear that in order to pursue this path, I’d have to, so to speak, compromise some of the boundary positioning that I’d set up years ago. I talked to some people, and thought about it a lot. Ultimately, I moved a boundary, but didn’t take it down, so I figured that I was OK.
A comment from someone I trust, a conversation with someone else I trust, and re-examining other circumstances has suggested there is potentially another boundary issue. I have a suspicion that someone I’ve never met, with a lot more power than me, is dabbling in the same circumstances. My goals include exclusively avoiding this devil, and I have yet another boundary that may need to be re-positioned. I am weary of that as well, and I feel like I am looking through a fog to determine what is, and what is just suspicion. I am also concerned that I am compromising too much, and it doesn’t sit well in my stomach.
I have a severe case of “new girl in town”. I don’t know exactly who and what are involved. Naive, idealistic, and not connected, I sense I am easily made a pawn in someone else’s power-play if that were a possibility. Part of my anxiety is the distinct lack of control I have in the circumstances. I am wandering into uncharted territory. I don’t have a map. I am pursuing the paths as I go, and while I have great people to consult with, the nature of the cartography is that everyone is looking at an incomplete picture.
I grew up in the era of the internet. I want to determine the terms of my life with certainty. I want to be able to Google the directions to the place I’d never been. I want to find the instructions of how to put this new thing together. Many of my life’s goals include doing things that have not yet been done, and thus require comfort with the unknown. I’m generally so bold that I straddle the line of being stupid; too open, to blunt, and unafraid to approach a stranger. I move quickly and sometimes without taking the time to think it through – my husband balances me out well in this regard. He’s the direct opposite. This cockiness comes from an overconfident sense of being able to discern what is there. When I get in trouble, it is generally because of ignorance.
So I’m watching this new circumstance, realizing there is some real potential to be successful, and real potential to get myself into trouble. My gut isn’t yet telling me if I should back away, or if I should push forward with a hawk’s eye to a level, least I go down another slope. My gut is probably pleading the fifth, and I’ll need to make a decision based on risk and hope for the best, and hope it isn’t leading me towards a decrease in metaphoric elevation.