Tuesday, March 9, 2010


Image taken from Google
I crave solitude the way a beached whale desperately longs for oxygen. There are days, even months, when I resemble a top spinning haphazardly on its axis with nothing to show for it other than the angular momentum. My busyness consists of a to-do list that has less to do with me and more for everyone else. I've become a master at juggling people, taking care of others, handling my job, prioritizing the non-profit organizations I work for, creating free time for friends, and looking for adventures that I've consistently managed to neglect me. It isn't until I'm in a static case of disarray that I finally collapse and escape into my solitude.

Last night was one of those nights. As I stepped out of the shower I got a bug up my butt to watch Tim Burton's rendition of Alice In Wonderland.  


I couldn't have picked a better time as I had a few days off to recuperate from my "alien extraction" and I was going stir crazy. I knew as I headed toward the movie theater that I had to endure the quizzical, perplexed, and pitying stares from the ticket cashier. Even when I boldly walked up to the window and said, "HI!Alice In Wonderland, please!", the accompanying inquiry always comes next, "Just one?" At this point I bit my lip from uttering, "But of course! I am NOT a loser. I AM I.N.D.E.P.E.N.D.E.N.T." Instead, I smiled in acquiescence. It never fails, because each time I wait for my transaction to complete I engage in a total stare-down with the ticket cashier. Pity vs. Pride. I win every single time. Boo-ya! 

I sat in that darkened theater with the same anticipation I experience before I read a new book. For me, the television is devoid of life, but books catapult me into an unknown world fraught with adventure, teeming with life, filled with fantasy--a welcome break from the dreary and mundane. I couldn't wait to see the beloved books from my childhood come to life via Tim Burton's imagination. 

As an adult, I did not expect to commiserate with Alice in her Wonderland. In this version, Alice was constantly told who she was, what she had to do, who she needed to be, what not to be, and what she couldn't do. Several times in her dreamlike journey she was told, "You have diverged from the destined path!" To which she replied, "I create my own path!" It made me think of my own life and the many times I've diverged from my destined path only to create my own. Many have called me crazy and some have deemed me mad but it was THE path I chose. My favorite scene...well, ONE of my favorite scenes was when the Mad Hatter poked Alice and said she'd lost much of her "muchness." Isn't that always the case when we lose the arrogance and innocence of youth? When we choose to play it safe in our adult life? We tend to listen to the doubts and whispers so that we believe, "I'm Alice, but not THE one."

When the epic moment came that Alice faced the Jabberwocky, I couldn't still my pounding heart; for I face a Jabberwocky of my own. The monster is the total sum of all my fears, insecurities, doubts, weaknesses, flaws, idiosyncrasies, failures, the unknown, disease, aging, and vulnerabilities. Its jaws bite with the sharp sting of "you're not good enough", its claws scratch with a venomous "You're unworthy", and its flames burn hot with a "you'll never be successful." But just like Alice, I believe in the impossible and slay my Jabberwocky. Daily.

I challenge you to face your Jabberwocky with courage as your armor and "muchness" as your sword. With jubilation and a loud cry,"Off with your head!", he goes!