Sometimes I slug the coffee down. Sometimes I sip. Depends on what I’m trying to achieve.
What’s on my mind as I wrap my hands around a steaming mug of superhero? Lions and gazelles. I’ve got Africa fever lately. My sister lives there. My husband’s going there. I just put an Africa-shaped blood stain in one of my stories.
Lions and gazelles. They see each other and a chase begins. Both run as fast as they possibly can. They’re pushing their limits, and the stakes couldn’t be higher. One has to eat to survive. One has to survive, to survive. They have so much in common, the lion and the gazelle.
You’re wondering why I’m going all philosophical on you? I’ve no idea.
So which are you, a lion or a gazelle?* (Truthfully, there’s a third option, hyena. Hope you’re not one of those.)
Like so many people, I made some poor choices in my formative years. Doesn’t that sound benign? Poor choices, formative years. You can tell how old a person is by whom they blame for their imperfections. Under twenty, parents. Twenties and thirties, spouse. Forties, fifties, and beyond, the actual culprit.
For the longest time, I saw myself as a gazelle running to escape my failures. I was running from who-knows-what to who-knows-where, and it was exhausting. The shine of my accolades wore off too soon. My failures loomed like the HOLLYWOOD sign over the valley of my life.
When I mutated from a gazelle to a lion, I don’t know. But I did. Thank God, I did.
You know you’re a lion when the taste of gazelle is enough to get you to sprint. Any time, any day. The only reason the gazelle runs is because she’s being chased. The lion runs because she’s hungry. If you know me at all, you know what drives me, what my personal gazelle looks like.
The gazelle is running away from something and the lion is running toward something.
People who are running toward something can actually get there. People who are running away from something only live to see another anxious day. Thoreau said, “Most men lead lives of quiet desperation. They die with their song still inside them.”
Sing before you die, Kelly. Or roar. I seriously tell myself these things.
Not that it’s easy street for Lions. 1 in 8 survive to adulthood. I wish the survival odds were that good for writers who want to publish.
The coffee is gone. It’s a chugging sort of day. Till next week, friends. 🙂
*I’m serious. I’d love to know. Lion or gazelle?