The Looming Monster

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Hey gang!

Sometimes I wonder about me. The other me. The insecure part of ourselves that tends to bleed through. I always wonder what that part of me would be like if it was the me that is the most prevalent part.

We all have these masks that hide our crazy, right? In dating, I call it the “three month monster”. Three months, I have found, is the amount of time needed to have that ugly part of us rear its’ head and snarl.

“I never want to hear about your ex because I worry they are better looking than me,” it squeals.

“I feel the need to drag you down because I feel like I don’t deserve you the way you are,” it says slobbering in your ear.

“I cannot let people in,” it growls.

These things are hard to hear or understand when it’s external. We think my gawd! this crazy so and so is frightening. I need to jump out of this relationship with or without a parachute! Burn it! Burn it with fire!

However, sometimes, when we look at ourselves, we can see that creature. We face it, whether we like it or not. What does yours look like?

I know what mine looks like. It’s large and looming. Somewhere in the corner of the room. Its head hits the ceiling and it crouches its bulk to fit. It grumbles in my ear from afar. It tells me I’m insecure about my worth, it tells me I’m not good enough. It reminds me that I am completely un-whole.

I am sure you’re thinking to yourself, “This dude has issues.” You’re right. I do. Who doesn’t? I feel like to live a decent life, you have to have some issues. If you don’t, what have you come up against? What struggle has shaped you the way water shapes the earth it runs across?

However, when we realize our issue monster looms over us, inside of us, what do we do?

Do we confront it? Do we hide it? Do we embrace it?

This image of me in the corner is ever present but it is up to me, to us, to remember that it is merely a part of us. We are gatekeepers. The masks we have hide them. I suggest getting rid of the mask and confronting the beast. It’s the only way to truly move forward. I recognize the me-creature who whispers to me things about myself I hope aren’t true but I take it with a grain of salt and smile.

Why do I smile?

I smile because, without me, there is no monster.

Campfire Tales: Mr. Raccoon Has His Day (Conclusion)

Hey Gang!

(Continued from Previous)

Sleep was hard. I had gotten taller since I last camped, which meant my torso was completely exposed. This caused a problem as a snap cold front came through and it dipped down into the low 30s. I was freezing. I put on all of my clothes and my hoodie, yet I still shivered. I used my hiking backpack as a pillow and shivered the whole night. I woke up with the sun around 5:30. I had to pee but it was about 10 degrees colder outside than in my tent. I did what any good man would do, got on my knees and urinated out the door of my tent. Not glamorous but it worked.

We had to move our tents the next day as we had accidentally camped at the wrong site. This other campsite was close to the old one but in a less glamorous area that was downhill. We repeated the steps and night came again. Chad regaled us of why we should fear the night and I listened to that voice in my head that grew. It screamed, “You will be eaten!”

I literally jumped into my tent, zipped it fast, and breathed a sigh of relief. Obviously, a creature could not penetrate a zipped tent door nor the material. I hear the laughter from a campsite near and it kept me sedated. I played a game on my cellphone until I fell asleep. I had come to realize that my imagination was just playing with me. Life is a lot more than silly stories.

I AM AWAKE.

I heard something outside my tent. It cracks as it moves around me. It moves to the front of me and begins hitting my tent’s door. Bigfoot. He is here. I stayed silent. The great beast moved on from me and began rummaging through the make-shift, all-in-one kitchen we erected. I knew if I moved, I would be killed.

“Hey, get outta there,” Chad yelled from outside my tent. “Why you little son of bitch!” I hear as his tent unzips. The beast scurries away with a clang. Chad zips his tent up and I fade back to sleep after a long silence.

I found out what happened the next day. An even bigger raccoon had made its way through our camp, tipped over our psuedokitchen, and tore apart our trash. It was like a terrible horror movie when the monster turns out to be a cute-looking fuzzy bandit. What was better was on my tent’s door I found….muddy claw prints….dun-dun-DUHHHHHH!

The next day I woke up early and essentially did the same thing the raccoon did to me to Juan. I pawed at his tent and he punched at the air. This went on for longer than I care to admit. We went home and the sun set on our adventure. I am not sure there is a moral here or but there is a lesson: My imagination scares me more than nature. Which is also scary.

Here’s to my next camping trip and yours!

-Chris