push me


When I was a little girl, I was terrified of dogs. Terrified to the point of crying if one so much as dared to come anywhere near me. It was understandable -- dogs were big and I was smaller than most of them. But this fear was totally irrational. I can't remember a dog ever being aggressive toward me beyond the unwarranted nip of a teething puppy. (Scary, right? It kept me up at night.)

     It was finally confirmed to me through years of hardcore research and experience that no, dogs of any shape or size were not out to get me. I could ditch my stupid fear and finally enjoy my life -- though the stares of gated-off four-pawed beasts would forever haunt my sleep.

     One day, when I was still afraid of dogs, my mom took me to a playground at a sweet little outdoor recreation center. I barely remember anything about it save this: I was sitting at the top of the tunnel slide, and there was another little girl -- with a huffing, bratty voice and strong little hands -- who was waiting for me to go down the slide. But I couldn't, because I could hear a dog barking somewhere down there, at the bottom of the slide.


     Suddenly nothing else mattered. I couldn't see my mother, which meant that she didn't exist. She'd jumped out of a portal in the space-time continuum and I was alone in the world, sitting at the top of the tunnel slide with a little bratty sneaker shoved up against my back. I was going to be eaten by the dog as soon at my feet hit the pulverized wood chips at the bottom. I was a dead man. A dead girl. (Yes, I had the imagination of a brooding writer at age four.)

     "Go down," she whined.

     "No." I said, trying not to cry. (But this wasn't a rare occurrence, really -- I think a good fifty percent of my childhood was spent trying not to cry. (Clarification: I had nothing to cry about.))

     The little girl pushed me. With a grunt and one last insipid remark from her bratty lips, her sneaker (which had never left my back) gave a good, hard shove, and I was tumbling down the slide in absolute horror -- my desperate, sweaty hands squeaking on the walls.

     I had two choices: I could either a) run for the hills (or in this case my mother) as soon as my feet hit the bottom, hoping the dog wouldn't attack me, or I could b) crawl back up into the slide and hide from the potential disaster -- but this would probably result in being smashed-into by the brat who wanted me out of her way. Both options sucked, I decided. Both options could very well mean my mortification, if not my possible demise. I was a perfect graveyard of buried hopes. And no, I was not at all dramatic.

     My feet hit the bottom, and there was no dog. Instead there was this. Instead there was my mother, who had apparently found her way out of the wormhole and back into this exact place and time in the universe. She swept me up into her arms, and I was a safe. And then I probably cried, but I can't remember.

     I guess the point is this: I still feel like that little girl, sitting at the top of the slide. I can hear a dog barking at the bottom -- something I'm terrified of, something that stops me from wanting to go down. But I have to go down. I have to go down because it's all just a facade. I'm being blinded by the tunnel vision (literally) and I'm letting something so much smaller than myself intimidate me. The dog isn't real, but it sounds real.

     Let's just get this straight: I hate being pushed. But I feel like sometimes I need to get pushed. Sometimes I'm going to let my stupid fears scare me out of doing something marvelous, and that's when I need a shoe on my back and a pretend Navy Seal kick in the pants and I need someone to push me down the slide. Because I think I'll find something beautiful at the bottom. But I'm scared.

Do you ever feel like you need to get pushed in order to do something? Have you ever been scared do bite the bullet, but did it anyway -- and found it totally rewarding? Also, were you afraid of something stupid when you were little? (It will make me happy if you say yes.)

love,
abbie




14 comments

  1. This was beautiful (and hilarious). Yes, I totally agree with you. I want to get out of my comfort zone, I want to do big things, I want to push myself to success and adventure. However often times I am too scared to push myself. Sometimes I need my friends and family and (once in a while) perfect strangers to push, to nudge, even to shove me along in the direction I already wanted to go but was too scared to move into alone. You are right. We need each other.

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    1. Thank you so much, Susanna. <3 Your comment literally made my day. I'm so glad you can relate to this post! It's been something very close to my heart, lately. :)

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  2. ok first of all- THAT GIF. hahahahahahahah
    and second- i hate being pushed too. like absolutely despise it. at least before i'm pushed. after someone gives me that first shove and i get through that stomach churning twist of the downhill slide- it's okay. in fact, it's always great and afterwards i look back and i see how much i grew on that irrationally terrifying slide. i actually had a big experience with this on my mission trip this summer. you've got me totally inspired with this post so i might write about it ;) anyway, this was great. thanks so much for sharing abbie ^-^

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    1. Yes. Yes yes yes yes yes. <3 I'm so happy you could relate to this, Olivia! And you're right, it's amazing to look back and see how much we've grown and become stronger, braver, more awesome. I'm so glad I inspired you with this (!!!) that means literally so much. :)

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  3. *cough cough* maybe I am 15 years old and still have a crippling fear of all four-legged animals but especially dogs *cough cough* This is so true though; I'm literally scared of my entire future, but luckily I've got a mom who's always willing to push me--both figuratively and literally (haha okay half-kidding)--whether I want it or not. I'm hoping that as I get older I get less afraid of my responsibilities and more willing to take advantage of the opportunities that come my way.

    p.s. if I'd seen theo james at the bottom the slide at that age, I probably would've still been scared. of course, if I saw him there now, I'd probably go down every slide ever to see if it happened again. :P

    O | Life as a Young Lady

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    1. Olivia, hey!! Oh my goodness, how come I've never seen your blog before? (ahEM, stalking now...) Literally, I can relate -- I may not be afraid of dogs anymore, but I am deathly afraid of caterpillars. It's not even funny (even though it is to most people. heh.) "but luckily I've got a mom who's always willing to push me" < This is literally the best. It's so important to have people close to you that know what you need and aren't afraid to give you a shove in the right direction. AND YES YOUR PS IS ME FOREVER AND EVER. (it...gets a little out of hand sometimes...) Anywho, thank you so much for the lovely comment! <3

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  4. Um. Yes. So much yes. Like. Story of my life put into words here. HOW DO YOU DO THIS CONSTANTLY, ABBIE? You're making my life, agh. I feel like that's where I'm at right now... if only I'd just get that SHOVE. And yet I'm too terrified to want that. Because as you get older, slides may get a lot smaller, but cliffs sure don't. But think how amazing it is when you sprout wings and fly! And that's how God works.

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    1. SDSJKDLNAV. <3 thank you so much, dear. I'm so glad you liked this post. That's a hard place to be, though, isn't it? "Because as you get older, slides may get a lot smaller, but cliffs sure don't." < GAH. wow, yes. So freaking true. thank you for that. :)

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  5. I love this analogy and all of the truths found in this post <3
    And I also had a fear of dogs when I was little, because I was attacked by one XD
    And you described this so beautifully <3
    p.s. just followed your blog <3

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    1. Aw, thank you so much, Lauren! <3 That means a lot. I'm so glad you could relate to this, it's something I've been thinking about a lot lately. And thank you so much for following! You rock. :)

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  6. This is the best analogy I've heard in so long. :') My mum has a fear of dogs, and I was incredulous over this until I realised that she was almost bitten as a child. I guess my biggest fear is failure, an intangible thing, but I can still relate to your post thoroughly. Incredible job. :)

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    1. Gaaah, Jo. <3 You're the best. I would probably still be scared of dogs if I got attacked by one...yikes. "I guess my biggest fear is failure" < SO MUCH ME. I can totally relate, girl. Thank you, I'm so glad you like this. :)

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  7. yes yes YES! i can totally relate. i hate being pushed (unless its with something that i love to do), but i'm glad when i am. :D (oh and the gif MADE. MY. DAY. LOLOLOLOL....)...
    love your story. this is beautiful. :)

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    1. Yesss, IM SO GLAD YOU LIKED THE GIF. It ended up being perfect. xD And I'm so glad you could relate to this. <3 gah. Thank you, Sami!!

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kind words are like raindrops on the desert. they make me bloom with happiness, as absolutely cliche and cheesy as that sounds. even if it's just a simple alt+3 i will heart you for it. so, go ahead! MAKE MY DAY. literally.