There’s A Squirrel In My Brain

Photo by Tara Winstead from Pexels

I think the title says it all. This one is going to be, well, I don’t know. Hold on to your toenails. It might get weird.

As a general rule, if you have to ask if it’s weird, it probably is, and that’s not a bad thing. As someone who identifies as a weirdo, I appreciate anyone who openly embraces the bizarre. It’s a unique quality that breeds authenticity, openness, and quite a few chuckles. After all, anyone who’s weird has a good sense of humour.

Also, it means you’re braver than most because being the odd one out isn’t easy. We’re programmed for conformity, designed to fit in because that brings community. Our natural instincts draw us to like-minded people. We’re pulled towards those that look and act like us. Those are our people so, that’s where we belong.

But a few brave souls deviate from the norm because, quite frankly, it doesn’t fit. It feels like we’re trying to put on clothes that are four sizes too small. What is this? Is it made for toddlers? I’m a grown human with adult dimensions. I’ll never fit into that.

The same thing goes for the social conformity. It just doesn’t fit. It doesn’t matter how we twist and turn or how many squats we do; we can’t slide it over our shoulders. Awkward, gangly, slightly disproportionate dimensions won’t allow it. No matter what we do, we’ll always be the weirdo that can’t button up or straighten out.

So we make our own clothes out of whatever feels most comfortable. After all, we can’t go running around stark naked, now can we? Nope, we’re weird, but in an endearing way. We know which quirks to display and which ones belong on a secluded beach.

I’m not saying I’ve tried that particular form of freedom. Everyone should do what they’re comfortable doing in the appropriate place without shame. I have copious amounts of shame and skin that burns easily. I’ll leave you to enjoy your beach. I’m going to hibernate until winter.

Being weird, in whatever form it takes, is difficult, but conforming isn’t a choice. It’s not something we can sustain. It’s exhausting, emotionally depleting, and it requires a stamina that I don’t possess. That means, every so often, I have to let my weirdo out. I can’t keep her in. She’s a squirrel on a hamster wheel listening to grunge rock.

If only she liked classical jazz or old-school blues. When music was about talent and raw emotion. It had soul and depth. I think I was born in the wrong era, and my squirrel just flipped me off.

I don’t know where this bloody critter came from or why she’s so active today. It’s probably a survival mechanism or something to that effect. A curious case of laughing, so you don’t cry. Or don’t take life too seriously because why should you? 

It’s a strange thing, living on this planet and enduring everything that comes with it. I think the Buddhists have it right. They say that life is suffering, but it’s not permanent, and it’s changing. It’s a bizarre concept for my western mind to grasp, and I’m sure the English translation is off base. I’ve been trying to learn more, broaden my mind a bit, so my understanding is limited, but I’m trying.

Still, the idea that life is suffering rings true, but it sounds so dire. If I left it there, what would be the point of living at all. But life is changing, evolving, and we can choose to grow with it. Grow out of this pain and into the beauty of the in-between. That space where life isn’t bad, good, or any other descriptor. It simply is, and that’s where we find peace of mind.

Did I get that right or do I need to keep digging?

If that isn’t a weird squirrel run, I don’t know what is. One minute it’s whipping out an inappropriate gesture, and the next, it’s getting philosophical. Do you have mornings like this? You jump from silly to serious faster than your heart is beating. You’re complaining about the state of modern music, and then you’re contemplating an ancient philosophy. 

Your mouth is in motion, and you, like I’m doing right now, stop and ask, What am I saying? Do you ever start talking and then realize you don’t know what you’re talking about? You had a point you were trying to make, but you jumped the rails somewhere back there. Now, you’re a high-speed train rolling down a steep incline without any breaks. 

Or, is it just me and one of my weirder traits? I have plenty of those. Today it’s a squirrel rocking out to a screaming gerbil. 

The point I was trying to make in my way weird way is; I’m having a morning that’s full of stress, anxiety, and I have this overwhelming urge to hide under my bed. That squirrel in my head is gnawing on the juicy bits. I don’t want this day to happen. I don’t want to exist in this time frame. If I had my way? I’d skip the day entirely. Hell, I’d skip the next twenty days, but unfortunately, I’m going to have to face them all.

In my weird, roundabout, sorta way.

When I look at this day, it’s filled with typical adult chores that don’t warrant this response. It’s every day, welcome to life, sorta things that have to get done. I have to go to the post office and return a modem to my old internet provider. I need to drop some paperwork off. Go to the bank, buy a new bra (if you know, you know), and put gas in my car.

I know, it’s so stressful and traumatic. How will I ever survive? I’m going to need the emotional support of a good friend, junk food, and maybe a hug after it’s all done. My God, how does she do it all with such style and grace?

Just in case it didn’t translate? That with written with sarcasm and a dramatic eye roll. Did I sigh at myself too? Yeah, you know me so well. Oh, and I’ve never done anything with style and grace. I’m more of a frazzled and clumsy sorta gal. My hair gets fluffier the more stressed I become. I trip over my own feet, and I mutter curse words around sensitive ears.

On days like this, I’m the person you cross the street to avoid. If it’s not the wild and untamed looked? It’s an unwillingness to explain to your child what certain words mean. Today is not the day you want your child to ask, what does that mean? Nope, not today, Satan. Hurry off in the opposite direction. 

Don’t worry, I’d avoid myself too if I were you. Hell, I want to avoid myself entirely. Maybe I could disappear into a world of illusion, make-believe, and stellar special effects? Is it too late to regress to an age where my mommy and daddy were the adults, and I didn’t have to worry?

I don’t want to adult today! She said with a petulant stamp of her feet.

I’m being ridiculous, and my inner weirdo is ruling the roost. It’s letting the squirrel build a roller coaster, and now it’s inviting friends over. Do you have days like this? The smallest things are overwhelming, and you overthink everything. What could go wrong? That stops being a question and a statement of fact.

Run, little squirrel, run.

Is it any wonder that I’m a bundle of anxiety and nervous energy. My mind is spinning, but my body refuses to move. That’s making my heart beat faster than it should. What’s wrong with me today? Oh right, I have an infestation.

It’s making me feel nauseous, and other parts of my digestive system are bubbling aggressively. It’s threatening a hostile eviction. Oh dear me, this could get messy, and it’s not even 9 AM. Hold on to your britches, my friend. I don’t know how this one’s going to end.

With a slip and slide, presumably.

Just once, I’d like to face a day like today with composure. I’d love to be a normal person and feel mildly annoyed by my list of chores. I assume that it’s safe to say that no one likes to run errands all over town and waste a day doing trivial things. Sure, they have to be done. These things are necessary despite being mundane. You don’t have to have a panic attack because the schedule was disrupted.

I love a good schedule, and it’s even better when it’s a routine. It’s comforting to know what the day is like because it’s one long muscle memory. I go through the motions more out of habit than anything else. It’s the same as it was yesterday and it will be the same tomorrow. There will be no surprises or deviations.

As long as we stick to the same plan we’ve had for the last— how many days has it been?— well then, there won’t be any catastrophes. I cannot, under any circumstance, face another one of those. They’ve happened way too often over the last six weeks, and I just want to stick to the MF plan!

Is that too much to ask for? No, no, I think not, and I just startled the squirrel. Poor thing soiled itself. Actually, it’s in my brain so, I think I just became a semi-literal sh*t-head. Hmm, that’s a disturbing thought. I certainly didn’t have that on the agenda for today.

Damn it, now my veins are bulging, my face is bright red, and a glisten of sweat has appeared on my forehead. That all came out with more vigour and desperation than I had anticipated. Clearly, this is getting out of hand.

Do you think I need to try meditation again? Sure, the first 1200 attempts were unsuccessful, but it might be time to try it again. Breathe in through the nose and… *CRASH* What the… *BAM* Who the…*BOOM* Stupid squirrels, can’t you see I’m trying to be mindful and present in the moment? I’m working on my mental health and trying to regain control of my mental illnesses for the love of…grr, can’t even get a moment’s peace.

That’s because life is suffering. 

I really need to find a better translation and an exterminator. Damn squirrels in my head. I’m just sitting here, trying to enjoy a cup of tea and being a weirdo. Is that moment of peace too much to ask for?


One thought on “There’s A Squirrel In My Brain

Add yours

  1. I like the semi-literal shithead thing. That’s some awesome mental gymnastic upside-down poetry.
    I’m in a similar place, and I think even the way out I thought I ‘d found now looks…
    But even with the stars crumbling, and the squirrels clawing at my soul like psychotic scrubbing brushes, all trace of tail-fluffiness burned off in the suffering small print…
    yours remains a deeply kind voice (no really, quit arguing) that I’ll always value.

    Liked by 1 person

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