ChangingStory1.4-AdaptAbility

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I feel about as adaptAble as the typical stone. I might hail from some native stream bed, but I could find myself anywhere: sidewalk, lawn, kitchen sink, inside some shoe. I suppose my very presence suggests some sort of native adaptAbility—I mean, I AM there, after all—but I feel more natively alien there than just another homebody. I feel like the resident sore thumb.

I stay on guard, watchful, uncertain of the local customs. I suppose I plot and plan, developing contingencies before engaging, because I really don’t know, can’t anticipate how even the most otherwise pedestrian excursion might turn out. Consequently, I seem more shadow than substance.

I do not believe in resilience, though I realize it’s been elevated into God-like status by the chattering class; the ones who seem to always know what everyone else should do; the ones who seem to have already accomplished what everyone else still distantly longs and strives for. I suppose some people might adapt more like flowing water than my meager stone, but I suspect these folks remain rare. I don’t seem to run into them, though their writings sometimes run right over me; water over stone.

I do not pull rabbits out of my hat, and I feel confident that this trick always involves more sleight of hand than genuine magic. I am learning to look for the tells accompanying the appearance of great skill, suspecting more manipulation than magic there. Wonder should never become routine. Surprise defies deliberate creation.

I have learned to adapt, but not to adapt by mirroring the changing context. I might have become no more or less than I ever was, but a smidgen more accepting of the differences. I used to at least try—struggle, more like it—to fit in. Now, I don’t seem to really care to fit in. When I find myself cast in the role of the stone in my own shoe, I more often recognize myself there now. I still yearn to return to that river bed I came from, but this pebble no longer expects to fit into this world. I might have a higher purpose than simply melding into my space.

I suppose that simply being what I am qualifies as some sort of adaptAbility. While some change wardrobe with every scene, I stumble across the stage wearing the same old jeans and that long sleeved shirt (I have a closet filled with exact replicas), regardless of the weather. I must not be striving to become anyone else anymore. I secretly wish everyone else would stop striving, too, but I mostly wish the chattering class would stop flooding the space with stories of the next great thing. I don’t want to know how to become the chameleon capable of adapting to yet another, even newer and more improved standard of performance. I remain a pebble whatever I might aspire to. Flow over or around me, or just wash me away into another alien situation, but never expect me to flow like water, for I remain about as adaptAble as the typical stone.

©2014 by David A. Schmaltz - all rights reserved









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