Friday, November 17, 2006

Shedding skin

Last evening I did something I haven't done in perhaps fifteen years. I fell down and scraped my knee. Picture this: rain, slippery pavements, boots too sexy (and smooth-soled, as I discovered yesterday!) to wear often, dark alley in downtown, running to prevent a parking ticket, skirt (so uncovered knee), no sense of direction - dramatic, huh?!
So I fussed all day today, 'worked from home', didn't get out of my shorts, got some reviews and other stuff done that I couldn't do at work, and generally enjoyed my lazy day as an invalid. It got me thinking - maybe some shed skin isn't all that bad (other than the unholy mess it's left my knee in! I told someone that it has progressed from a crater of redness to a brown pothole!) Snakes shed skin all the time, and we worhip them don't we?!

Another story to support my point. My colleague's father recently burnt parts of his body including his face, in a freak yard accident. It seemed for a day that he was in serious danger, because he had lost sensation and they feared it had affected his nerves.
Turns out he's ok. More than ok, even. They grafted some new skin to his face, so this sixty-something year old man has brand new baby-smooth skin, and it feels much better than his beautiful daughter's expensive-lotion-pampered skin now!

While I don't recommend either method described above to shed some skin, I've been thinking how it must be to be able to shed some other kinds of skin, metaphorically, and wake up with brand new baby skin. Metaphorically, of course!

The skin of habit, of the past, of repeated patterns, of beaten paths, for one. How gut-wrenchingly scary and hard to give up a habit, whether it's smoking or TV or even chatting with a good friend everyday. In fact, giving up something like that last one might not even seem like a necessary thing. And those are the hard habits to break. The ones you don't have to. The ones that are not societally condemned or obviously bad for you. But think of all the friends you're not making or not talking to, when you talk to the same person everyday. Think of all the paths you haven't discovered yet, by traveling the same path again. Sure, you'll get lost, scared, run out of gas, out of time, bored, rejected, dejected...but isn't it so worth it the one time you find a new route, make a new friend, spend a delightful evening with a stranger, discover some new music, eat a new kind of vegetable, ride a new car, stumble upon a new bookstore or find a new art form?

The thing is, I don't know, I have been too wrapped up in the double layered skin of habit and fear to find out. I'm thinking of ripping part of it out...slowly. In hope of a new layer, a new identity, a new relationship, or, at the very least, a new story.


Anonymous zfrrm said...

Hullo stranger.... Chicago anyone?

5:17 AM  
Anonymous E said...

Now how did the word verification reach the name tag? That's molting for ya!

5:20 AM  
Blogger frissko said...

cudnt help going back in time at the start of your post (my childhood was just a series of knee scratches:)

good luck with the ripping (it is normally easier said than done, routine puts u in such a freaking confort zone, it is hard to wriggle your way out..)

8:01 PM  
Anonymous Marspace said...

thought-provoking...i know some people who could do better by reading this, that's if I can get them to read it in the first place!!
the best thing about all the 'shedding' is the surprise you feel at yourself once you've done it.Now, that's one good emotion there!

1:57 AM  
Blogger Adele said...

my best memory of 'shedding knee skin' and 'you' in the same place- remember 'miss adventure'? :)

10:51 AM  
Blogger RTD2 said...

E - not sure I got your Chicago comment..sorry!
Frissko - Yup..I had a few 'incidents' too in my childhood, but nothing too bad thankfully! Thanks anyway for the comment!
And Miss Adventure and Miss Is! Yes Yes Yes!!

3:03 PM  
Anonymous E said...

Reference was made to the Chicago number "Hard habit to break"...but you are right , even I had to read the post again to see why I said what I did!

6:42 AM  

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