Friday, April 12, 2013

Change That Arm

So here I am, curled up in a ball on my mum's lap on the couch, grousing to her about my workload.

"I really don't know what's my problem."
"Hmm?"
"It's just as if my face screams out to people, 'I want work! I like work! Give me more!"
"Ah."
"It's like, there can be a whole lot of people around me to whom work can also be given to, but most of the time, the work usually just ends up with me."

Pause.

"Girl, maybe you just have to learn to be mediocre."

"Oh really?"
"Yeah. Why jump so high when you can jump, say, just one foot high? Oh, for goodness' sake, just let the other people jump. We can watch them."
"You have a point there."
"Maybe you don't have to jump so high. As long as you don't go under."
"Mmhmm."

I crawl further into her lap, just as I used to do as a child. All over again, I feel like the young, naïve child in the arms of a wise sage.

"But how? I can't help being the way I am."

She laughs and straightens herself.

"Well, first, you've got to stop looking like a perky Energizer bunny. You can do this—"

She let her body listlessly slump over her right arm.

"—and after a while, you change arm."

She switches from her right arm to her left one, slumping even lower than before. Then she sits upright again, with a twinkle in her eye.

"No one's going to want to give work to anyone in that kind of state."

We laugh together on the couch. She knows — and I know — that this mediocrity thing is probably not going to work out for me. But sometimes it's just wonderful to have a parent who gives unconventional life lessons.

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