oh, those pesky arsenic trees

My challenge for the week for the Indie Ink Writing Challenge comes from Billy Flynn:

Use as a quote or a concept; “She realized that she had spent ________ of her life looking for shade under poison trees.”

Okay then.

My challenge went to Kat Sidhe: Kat On a Cold Car Roof. And now, down to business:

I meant to write this before I came so close to the deadline, but it’s been quite a week, which… yeah, just trust me. Quite a week. And perhaps I say this in the way of an apology before I get started: I’m a bit cantankerous right now. I’m also pretty tired and there’s this level of Angry Birds that is pissing me off beyond reason, which is currently taking up more room in my thoughts than writing this post (I’ll leave it to you whether this is sad or not), so I’m not sure what’s going to happen here (oh, I just finished that level so I guess I can concentrate now — three stars too, baby, yeah).

I’m going to write something now that has something — I can’t guarantee what yet — to do with the prompt. Here goes.

It’s an old theme for me, discovering that what looked good at first was actually not, though I’m not sure it’s an old theme for me here — one of the side-effects of having written as much as I have in as many places as I’ve written them is that I can’t remember what I wrote where. Anyway, you know how it is. You think you’ve found a safe haven only to discover that it’s enough to kill you. It’s the place where mid-life crises are born. I think. I’m not quite at my mid-life yet (I hope), so it’s only conjecture at this point.

I’ve been thinking along these lines lately, because I have a birthday coming up and that sort of thing tends to make me annoyingly introspective. I could tell you stories about the moments when I realized that I’d ended up in the wrong place, at the wrong job, with the wrong person, drinking the wrong beer, you name it. The path I’ve walked is littered with a series of unwise decisions. It’s part of being alive, after all. I could tell you stories, but I won’t. We all have them. Some of them are sad, some of them are irritating, some are tedious, some hilarious. There are a few real nailbiters. I have my stories. So do you.

The point — the only point — is that I’m here to tell them, if I were to choose to do so. None of those so-called poison trees killed me. (In my head, I picture a cartoon tree covered with jugs that have skull-and-crossbones labels on them.) It doesn’t really matter how long you’ve stood under those poison trees seeking shelter from the sun — a week, two years, a decade — it’s not a waste and it’s not worth regret. It’s all just experience.

The only thing that matters, anyway, when you find yourself in a bad spot, is that you move.


2 thoughts on “oh, those pesky arsenic trees

  1. Yep, I feel that way too. I don’t regret anything about my life — even the bad stuff. Even the really horrible stuff. It just made me who I am, and I kinda like who I am.


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