I had a co-worker once, who asked me if I planned to get my Master’s degree. With immediacy, my response was, “I have to.” At that point in my life, hearing her response, “No, you don’t”, just irritated me. What did she mean, I didn’t have to? Yes I did, so I could then do X, Y and Z.
Everything was linear. I always knew where the line started and where it ended. My ego actually took her response to be something of a challenge, as if she was doubting that I was capable of accomplishing what I said I was going to do.
I attempted and failed at grad school. I can say it was because I took on too much, working two jobs and attempting school full time; but I know that would be a cop-out.
When a person chooses to go in to the field of social work, planning to have a career helping others who have suffered dysfunctional and sometimes traumatic experiences; she damn well better make sure she has her own shit dealt with and put away. I did not.
I was triggered severely while interning under a social worker in an elementary school. I didn’t even realize what happened, until the social worker (a woman I will never forget) told me she suspected I had PTSD and that it was ok to step back and take care of myself.
So that’s what I did. I withdrew from the MSW program. It hurt. I was somewhat lost at that point because all I had ever paid attention to was getting to a very specific place in life. I never bothered to look around and actually ask what else I liked, enjoyed or even wanted to do. I got stuck.
I got back in to therapy, continued to work, started my family and was making a name for myself, within the company I worked for at the time. Once I had my second child, I was derailed again. This time though, I was the one throwing up detour signs.
At this point, I had started to become more aware of what was really important in my life. Having kids had a way of putting my ego to rest, while igniting a greater love in me.
While on maternity leave for my second child, I kept feeling these little tugs on my heart. It was a pull to walk away from everything I had worked for up until that point and choose to stay home with my kids. It was radical and a bit of an obnoxious idea at the time. It wouldn’t go away though. So much so, that I eventually had to stop ignoring it.
Again, I couldn’t help but think, “How did I fall so far off course?”
Here I was, handing in my resignation, diving in to a world that even six months prior, I would have sworn would never be me. I was a SAHM, doing dishes and playing peek-a-boo in the middle of the day. Who am I?
I started to understand what that co-worker meant, five years prior. She was trying to kindly tell me, that I didn’t have to do any one thing. Life should and can be about what we want to do. I’ve had to let go of the reigns. Life never seemed to allow me to hold them tight enough to go in the direction I was “supposed” to go anyway.
I still revert back to tunnel vision occasionally. Now, though, I recognize it better. I can see and feel when I am unbalanced and need to just let go. I believe fiercely that I have to work for what I want; but the difference is now, I’m ok with not always knowing what that is. I’m taking more notes on life instead of worrying about the test. There really is no test.
My sister used to always say, “Throw away the map.” I finally understood what she was trying to tell me, when I stumbled upon this thought provoking quote, from a very unlikely source:
“As you start traveling down that road of life, remember this: There are never enough comfort stops. The places you’re going to are never on the map. And once you get that map out, you won’t be able to refold it no matter how smart you are. So forget the map, roll down the windows, and whenever you can, pull over and have a picnic with a pig. And if you can help it, never fly as cargo.” —Kermit the Frog
Those words are never too far from my heart. I try to “pull over” and have as many picnics with pigs as I can these days. I’m diverting my attention back to what’s right in front of me.
I have no idea where my life will take me. However, I do know, had I never failed at grad school, I never would have been so determined to work through my own childhood trauma. I would never have decided to become a SAHM; therefore, I never would have started writing.
Who knew Kermit was so wise?
Can you identify one event, moment or word(s) that changed your life. Do you feel like you have become a better person for being thrown off life’s course?
53 thoughts on “Kermit The Frog Changed My Life.”
So many things have changed my life. Mostly books. I don’t even think I could list them all.
When I actually think about all the things that have happened that caused a chain reaction…its a bit mind boggling. Thanks for reading. 🙂
Aw, I love this. So true. I believe things happen for a reason to teach us stuff. I know I’ve had several experiences and people change the trajectory of my life. I don’t think I’ve ever had a map, I’m more of a “wanders clueless” type, but without a sense of direction it was always very unsettling. Those things that set me on a path were life changing for sure.
Those interruptions were/are so frustrating but in hindsight are usually life’s ah-ha moments. Right?
That’s a great story! Kermit rarely disappoints.
Yes, I’ve had a few moments like that. They are treasured moments that I refer to when I need them.
Glad you found a way to let the rest of it go, and just be yourself.
“Treasured moments”…I like that. They truly are. Thanks for reading Guapo.
Many moments that changed my life. Having twins, for one. Came out of the blue, and now I’m home with them and like you I find I don’t recognize myself. Love the quote from Kermit. It’s true life is not at all linear or predictable and we make ourselves miserable trying to figure out if we’re “on the right path.”
Its strange how all this has become such a shock of sorts to me in my 30’s. I still kind of shake my head some days and ask myself, “is this my life”? For better or worse.
I should pin this on my wall and read it every day. I go too much by my own map, and when things don’t work out I get seriously derailed. I really like what Kermit said, too. 🙂
Hindsight has become a bit of a bitch in my book. I still find myself, often, planning, planning, planning. My mantra should really be “everything will be fine.” I want to predict the outcome of everything. Its incredibly frustrating. I have a little less fear that I (for a lack of better terms) am fucking everything up these days, but its still a challenge to be in the moment. I should pin this on MY wall!
P.s. I DO keep the Kermit quote taped to the inside of my personal journal. 🙂
Many events in my life have changed my course. I do know that as a child, I don’t ever remember saying “Gee, when I grow up I want to be an addict, an alcoholic, a loose cannon, get clean and lose the Love of my life to Cancer!” However, I do know that without all of the events, sorrows, challenges, celebrations and people along the way, I would not be the person I am today. You, Dawn are one of those “people along the way” that helped change my course. Whether you know it or not, I learned alot from you and wanted so much for you to live for you. That is what you are doing now. Life is too short to follow a boring “map” because you miss too much along the way. I love the beautiful woman you are. You are one of those people along the way I never want to lose track of. I read everything you write and just sit back and watch you grow.
Brenda, I’m so glad you commented. You are by far, one of the leading causes of me losing my mind…and I love you for that. I never would have made it here without you. Even though we only connect on occasion now, so many of your words continue to ring true in my head and my heart. You’ll never lose track of me…I’ve created to much of a Google cookie crumb trail at this point. Lol…and you’ll be in the acknowledgements of my first novel…so …you’re stuck with me.
I’ve been bouncing around like a racquetball since I was 12. I’ve never had a course in mind and I’ve always just taken life as it comes.
I suppose if I bounced around I would wish I had more of a map…maybe the answer is that all elusive balance. Lol
I have no idea what balance even is.
Well if you figure it out…
Of course, but don’t hold your breath.
I don’t think I’ve ever set a goal or course in my life to get thrown off of. Lately I’ve really been examining my life and trying to decide where I want the next twenty years to take me. I’m on the verge of having an empty nest and it’s the first time in my adult life I can really start thinking about what I want to do as opposed to what I need to do.
What a terrifying and exhilarating place to be!
I can completely associate with this: A. I had a small kermit toy in university that a close friend gave me so I have fond memories of kermit- always. B. For a couple of years after graduating from my bachelors degree, I was on a ridiculously one-tracked course in my life where I thought I’d get an MBA from the best univetsity in my country and become a corporate biggie or something. That was by far the most ludicrous thing I could have thought of. Thank God I didn’t get past the final interview!!!!! I never would have realized that life is much more than degrees. I was heading for something I had absolutely no interest in. I realized my love for writing in a way I never would have otherwise. I am so glad God snatched that stupid map right from my hand at the right time…
Thanks for making me proud and happy about it all over again:)
Thank you for sharing your story with me. I loved the idea that “God snatched that stupid map right from my hand at the right time…”. I completely get that. Thanks for reading, as always.
Wow, this was very insightful, love the quotes you used. It was certainly a very inspiring read. Thanks for sharing this with us Dawn ! 🙂
You’re so very welcome 🙂 I’m so glad you enjoyed reading it.
I did 🙂
I love this line so much, “I’ve had to let go of the reigns. Life never seemed to allow me to hold them tight enough to go in the direction I was “supposed” to go anyway.” I think this is the quote that sums up my life!
I’m glad you appreciated that line…it was my favorite from the piece I think. 🙂 Thanks for reading.
I’m totally with you on this one. Such a familiar story. Never wanting to be a SAHM but suddenly find yourself knee deep in diapers. Thanks for this. It helps me, too! 🙂
I have a 19 mth old that poops 4 times a day regularly…I completely understand being knee deep in diapers.
Thanks for reading Jen.
I’m new to yeahwrite…and can I just say your blog name is very clever and takes me back to Risky Business and (young) Tom Cruise😎 I liked your references to the muppets, because of course the Rainbow Connection runs in my veins. One short phrase I picked up in grad school that stuck to me like peanut butter in a dog’s mouth was “good enough,” spat out by a psychoanalyst in reference to parenting. Same idea, albeit a more polished one, as “sometimes you just have to say, WTF.”
You are right on both accounts…”good enough” is just that…GOOD ENOUGH! And by all means, if you don’t just throw your hands up with a WTF once in a while, you will lose your damn mind. A very good friend (who loves the f bomb nearly as much as I do) came up with the blog title. It’s simply brilliant isn’t it?!
Thanks for reading 🙂
Good old kermit. I dropped out of college at 21 and was angry at myself for years. Finally i’ve forgiven myself. I finally finished by degree with the OU when the kids were babies. Sometimes I wonder what could have been, but I stop because I really am grateful for all that I have. I don’t know what’s around the corner and i’m OK with that. I have literally spent years wondering when I’ll go back to work, will I find a good job? where? doing what? I’ve finally learnt how to go with the flow.
I still have those “what if” moments when I think about getting my master’s degree. Time passes and I think, well if I would have stayed with it, I could have been “here” by now. It comes and goes but mostly just goes these days. Now I do stress (just a bit) about going back to work and whether or not I’ll ever find a job I’m happy with.
Great post. I’ve never seen that Kermit quote before; it’s pretty great! I have such a hard time “throwing away the map.”
I do too…it is definitely a work in progress. Thanks for reading. I loved your piece on sexual harassment by the way. My computer was being screwy when I read it and I’m not sure if my comment ever went through. I shared it on my FB page because I thought it was so very well said. 🙂
Almost ten years ago (wow, I can’t believe it’s been that long), I hydroplaned my car on the interstate. That very scary moment of spinning out and narrowly avoiding a crash led me into a decision that set in motion a series of changes that completely changed my life. I suppose I could identify things since that led to upheaval, but that moment is so easy to pin everything else on.
I’ve had two similar experiences where I could link a chain of events that probably kept me alive. Like running back in the house to grab something and then barely missing what could have been a fatal car accident. The last time is when I really knew it was no accident and that I needed to start paying more attention to what life was trying to tell me.
Thanks for reading and sharing:)
I knew Kermit was wise when he sang ‘Half Way Up The Stairs.’ That is all.
Now don’t tsk tsk me but I don’t recall knowing that song. I’ll be googling it asap. 🙂
Tsk?! I’m outraged!!!! What kind of schooling did you have!!!! He he! I’m always pulling your leg a little – it’s not a deeply profound song so don’t watch and go ‘that Ed has finally lost it!’ – I just loved it since I was a kid. It’s just cute and almost wise in it’s sheer simplicity…you’ll see.
The simple things usually are the wisest 🙂 I’ll get back to you. Lol
Update: Don’t know quite what to do with myself now – something terrible has happened! It’s just like finding out that Santa doesn’t exist! Cos…erm…he doesn’t right?
Anyway – thinks I, “I’ll have a peek at the Kermit singing aforementioned song as I haven’t heard it for years” – what do I find?!!! IT WASN’T KERMIT!!! It was Robin the Frog! Kermit’s nephew who sung it!…All those wasted, deluded years!
Bahahhahaha now that is funny!
Lol! I’m devastated!
Kermit and I have been “Buds” for years! And your are absolutely right about life! The biggest thing I learned in my 7 years in Recovery is,…..we have NO CONTROL over people, places, things, or OURSELVES. Life is a journey. And I also felt if I kept at working hard, (as I have no kids) as I felt to you won’t get anywhere in life without Hard Work,….that I could keep those ugly feelings of my childhood abuse stuffed away. Well, eventually they do come knocking at our door of life when we least NEED it to. So I got tangled into addicted gambling to try and “escape” the pain and numb out.
Yeah, that didn’t work out to well…..I can so relate to your words here. Thanks for sharing your story!
Hugs & Blessings,
Author, Catherine Lyon 🙂
Thank you for reading Catherine and sharing how you can relate to my story. I truly appreciate it when people take the time to do that 🙂
I SO get this. And I always replay one of my favorite quotes in my head – “Life is what happens to you while you’re busy making other plans.” 😉
That is a great quote and a mantra I should make my own! Thanks for reading 🙂
I can identify a couple of those life-changing events. It seems as though God has thrown what could be looked at as “stumbling blocks” but which in reality are stepping stones that allow us to become what God wants me to become rather than what I want to become. And I have to say that in every instance, what God wants has been far better than what I was working for. Yes, it’s good to recognize these events and be flexible and able to adjust to whatever the “stumbling blocks” may require. In the end, they just may be the building blocks that you need.
Yes, yes, yes. This. I’ve put myself on so many different “paths” and “plans” in the past. Luckily I am really REALLY good at straying off of them.
Specific moment? When me and the whispering lesbian got shushed in art history. Yep. That changed everything.
More on that later.