I present to you, dear readers, some Chris-isms that I use in everyday conversation to explain the way life happenings sometimes feel. Metaphors, if you will. Feel free to use at your discretion. (Disclaimer: There might be a lot of people who say these things but I’m the only one I know.)
“It Knocked My Dominos Over” def. A specific occurrence that triggers a connection to past life events that you didn’t expect to deal with again. Such an occurrence may leave the experiencer feeling as if she has been knocked over like a row of what seemed to be perfectly lined up dominos only to find herself figuring out how to stand herself back up again.
Example: One day a long term friend of mine revealed to me that he was gay. I had no idea. None. As I left the conversation, I was filled with rage and deep sadness…though I couldn’t figure out exactly why I was feeling that way in the moment because nothing about the situation or his revelation should have enraged me. Suddenly I found myself swimming in memories of the early days of our friendship…days in which two other significant men in my life had not been truthful with me and had hurt me deeply with their dishonesty. His honesty with me knocked into the dominos of feeling like I had been betrayed by other people, thus creating a pile-up of emotion that I had been denying and then had to deal with.
“It Sounds Like You (or I) Finally Reached the Tipping Point” def. The point in life in which you can no longer go along with the status quo. It’s a decision or a life change that has been coming for a long time but up until this point the fear of the outcome has been stronger than the pain of staying as is. The scales tip when living in “the way it has been” becomes more painful than the possibility of “what could be.”
Example: That moment when you’ve had feelings for someone for way too long but you’ve been afraid to be honest because it could have a negative effect on your friendship but it finally gets too painful to pretend and/or continue to wonder if they feel the same way. Tipping Point. Speak your piece.
“My Teapot’s Whistling” – Okay…I just actually thought of this last night as I was lying in bed unable to fall asleep. I’ve never actually said it to anyone but myself. I was thinking about my Honoring Anxiety post and thought that the whistle of a teapot is a good metaphor for those things that happen in life that act as a signal to indicate that something else is going on under the surface. Maybe that thing is tears or a weight on your chest to indicate that you need to eat or take a break or take a nap. Maybe it’s stiff muscles that indicate you’ve been eating too much sugar. Or maybe it’s a feeling of joy and contentment that you get from doing a specific task that you didn’t necessarily know you liked. It’s a signal that asks you to pay attention.
Note: Your Teapot Whistle might actually be the signal that lets you know you’re at the Tipping Point. These metaphors may be interchangeable. The jury’s still out on proper usage.
“11th Hour Friends” def. Those people that you meet and really connect with effortlessly only to find out that they’re destined to leave your life as fast as they came into it. The kinds of friends that you don’t get much time with but you know will stay in your heart and have an impact on the rest of your life.
Example: I don’t have to give you an example. You know who I’m talking about.
(This post is a part of a series called 40 Before 40. 40 random thoughts on the 40 days before I turn 40 years old. If you have a post suggestion, send it on. Creativity is collaborative and I’ll take any writing prompts you want to send my way.)
Photo creds: “Domino” (CC BY 2.0) by Jeff Pioquinto, SJ , “The kettle just won’t shut up!” (CC BY-NC-ND 2.0) by Benjamin Lehman