At training camp last week, I entered the primitive shower stall ever-so-gently, trying not to waken my sleeping cabin-mates. And there it was. A cricket on the floor of the stall. Shudder!!
Have I ever mentioned - I have a thing about crickets. I absolutely LOATHE them. If they stay outdoors in their proper habitat, I can manage, barely. But should they dare to enter MY habitat, they become an endangered species.
It all goes back to the summer of ’79. A rainy summer it was, that first year my friends and I rented a summer cottage (think - converted garage) in the Hamptons. By summer’s end, we had enough of the rain, especially since it brought crickets and their incessant chirping inside. I learned to ferret out their hideaways, anticipate their jumping trajectory, and have my flip-flop poised, ready to trounce. I became a serial cricket-murderer.
[by the way, one of the kids at training camp told me that when he first heard the term serial murderer, he wondered why anyone would want to kill cereal. But I digress, sorry]
Now toward summer’s end, I developed a fierce case of bronchitis. When my friend, Donna, went out for the evening, I rested on the couch in the living room. Delirious with fever, not quite awake or asleep, but somewhere in between, I see it. Sitting on the coffee table beside my bed. Staring at me with its hideous eyes. Antennae quivering. A giant, white albino cricket. And I do mean giant - it was the exact length and width of the coffee table. Frozen under my sheets, I sense it poised, waiting to pounce at my slightest movement. My lungs constrict as I ponder its possible trajectory.
Ah! Lights flash in the driveway. A car door thud, followed by the crush of gravel underfoot. The screen door creaks and Donna enters the room. Courageously, I shout a warning, “LOOK OUT FOR THE CRICKET!” Baffled, she asks, “What cricket?”
What cricket??? Is she blind?
My arm pointing to the offender, I shriek, “THE GIANT ALBINO CRICKET ON THE COFFEE TABLE!” And then with a huff, I turn my back to both Donna and the cricket.
In my mind’s eye, I saw both Donna and the imaginary cricket, so I pose the question:
How can she miss what I can see so clearly?
Which, in my illustration-grappling mind, translates to “Why doesn’t everyone see things my way?”
Ok, so that time, it was a fever-induced hallucination. But there’s many a time that subconsciously we picture ourselves as “the smartest person in the room,” so why isn’t everyone listening to ME? And though we may not say it, we wonder - Can’t you see my brilliant wisdom?? Can’t you see the situation or the solution as clearly as I do?
Be it is a colleague at the office, a fellow team member with a differing leadership style, someone in our circle of friends or a family member, somewhere along the line, it is certain that we will encounter a thorn in flesh, and when we do, we need to get over ourselves.