The Lion in the Turtle: A Short Story

One day a Lion saw a turtle sleeping by the corner of the bay.

“Hey you! Wake Up! Wake Up!” cried the Lion. The Turtle opened its eyes and stretch its neck out of its shell. He was shocked to met two huge eyes staring too closely at him. It’s glossy reddish brown fur spilling over the his skin.

The Lion stepped back and continued. “Every year that I visit this bay, I always see you here sleeping, in the same exact spot. In fact, it’s been 32 years now that you have been sleeping inside that shell. Don’t you feel suffocated by it. It seems that no one visits you here either. Except me, I suppose.”

“I am doing just fine here. Everything stays the same and I am away from danger; especially from humans” softly said the Turtle.

“This barrier you put on your self from the world or from humans as you say, has it work?” asked the Lion.

“Well yes, every year has passed without a hitch, a problem, or a commotion. It sure has been swell living here…” the Turtle trailed off.

“All alone.” completed the Lion.

“But it’s too painful and crazy out there. I was on the other side of the bay before, but the humans, they kicked, carried and moved me from place to place. I would rather stay here, where its safe” retorted the Turtle.

“Say” said the Lion. “Why don’t you come with me. I can show you things you haven’t seen, and places you haven’t been to.

“I don’t know” timidly replied the Turtle.

“Suit yourself. But let me tell you where I’ve been. I’ve been to Africa, running with Tigers. Climbed Mount Kilimanjaro in Tanzania. Fought off an Alligator in the swamps of Louisiana. Ate salmon in Alaska.” said the Lion.

“Wow, it all sounds exciting!” exclaimed the Turtle.

“But it was not all fun. I was chased by a hunter once in Australia. I heard him and his pal say, that they were going to bring me to a taxidermist and hang me in their wall. Do you know what’s a taxidermist. Anyways, that did scare me but I managed to escape. So let’s go!” explained the Lion.

“Oh my! I have been here for most of my life. I’m use to being here. Nothing exciting but nothing scary happens here either” cried the Turtle.

“Well if that’s your choice, I must be off” said the Lion walking away.

“Couldn’t you stay here and keep me company?” asked the Turtle.

“Oh no. Life and adventure waits for no Lion. I must go now! Goodbye.” replied the Lion.

The turtle watched sadly as the Lion walked away. Then suddenly the Turtle’s throat trembled and to his surprise words came out. “Wait, don’t leave me here. I will go with you” desperately screamed the Turtle. The Lion grinned at his new companion.

So off they went the Lion and the Turtle. They gallivanted all over the country, eating sumptuous exotic food, and enjoying the days and the nights. One night after 100 days and nights of fun, the turtle smiled with happiness. His whole being glowed with sheer contentment and joy. He wondered why it had taken him so long to enjoy what the world has to offer. That night, he slept so soundly not since he was a hatchling. Upon waking in the morning, the turtle found himself in his usual spot in the corner of the bay.

The turtle was dismayed and astonished. He looked around him for the Lion, but there was no one to be seen. He shouted and shouted but was met with silence. Where was the hammock he slept in last night and the banquet of food he wondered. It dawned on him that he could have dreamed it all. He cried in sadness and disappointment. After much reflection, he decided that he had only two choices. He could stay where he is for the remainder of his days or venture out like the Lion and discover the infinite possibilities of what his life could be.

 

 

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Letting Go of Expectations…

We have expectations of what our lives is going to be when we are younger. For me at least, I dreamed of exciting and wondrous things. But what do you do when it doesn’t pan out. There’s a tendency to mourn the life that you thought you would live. A tendency to just give up and give in to complacency of what is. A tendency to beat yourself up for the mistakes that you made. But I am learning a new way. A way of acceptance and moving on. I am calling for the acceptance of the things that you cannot control, learning from the mistakes that you made, and trying to do better than what happened in the past.

I never had any sense of control of my surroundings during my childhood: from the death of a parent, to abandonment feelings, or moving to another country. There were multiple changes happening and there was no one to turn to. As I grow up I decided I did not like change and tried to control it as much as I could. It was very foolish because life is all about changes. Also, battling with the Universe and God is the worse thing that you could do. You have to make friends and peace with them no matter how painful or a struggle it is. This cliché has been said so many times but I’m understanding it more and more, “You cannot control the things that happen to you, but you can control how you react.” I recently found out another roadblock to my carefully laid out plans. I cried many tears about it. But life will go on despite this new event that will totally change my life all over again. I can go dragging, kicking, and screaming, or I can trust that I can still make a better future for myself despite the mistakes that I made. Namaste and God Bless!

Cautionary tale in how to not follow your dreams!

This is my first official blog or online writing. A dream come true. When I was younger I had so many dreams for myself. I dreamed that I would live an extraordinary life not like the life of my parents who lived to work, sleep, take care of kids, spend the weekend with chores, and then repeat. I wanted to live in the city, the city of New York; not die in the suburbs.

At first I followed the straight line to success. I got good grades, finished college, and received a degree. Somewhere along the way I met someone who erase my feelings of loneliness and made me feel belonging.

But I ended up losing my way. I found I job that paid my bills but it was not my passion and a dead-end job at that. It was supposed to be temporary until I save enough money to fund graduate school and also to figure out what I wanted to do. I ended up staying there for 5 years. Then suddenly I ended up getting pregnant several years later. I was heartbroken.

I did not regret the beautiful being that came into life. Now I have two people in my life that I can say without a doubt that loves me unconditionally. I eventually became purposeful, healthier physically/emotionally, and eventually I peeked out of my shell.

But it was not enough. A year after giving birth I went back to my old job. I still dreamed of going to graduate school and becoming a professional. I stayed in my job for 4 more years. My soul and body knew I was not fulfilled because I ended up having insomnia and anxiety. One day I just couldn’t sleep and my mind was racing thinking of my cyclical life of work, sleep, chores in the weekend, and repeat. I was not following my dreams. So I started doing calligraphy and then painting. I was surprise that I was actually somewhat good at it. I said to myself I will quit my job this year. I set a date for November 7, but I still had lingering feelings of fear from the unknown. Then I found out that I might be pregnant again.

There is something about the saying that goes “there is nothing like fire to light your ass up” or something like that. Will this be enough. I don’t know. All I know if I continue this path of fear and inaction; I will reach 60 (if I am lucky) and I will live in regrets.

Sometimes we need someone or something to push us off the edge to have the will to fight for your life and dreams. I am still trying to pursue my dreams. I have many dreams and I like to think it is never too late for me and for all of us to make them happen.