It’s a Jungle Out There

One half hour.  This was all the time I had to catch up with my friend who was back home visiting after moving to another state six months prior.  When she lived nearby, we’d run once a week, and catching up wasn’t really an issue. But she was on a whirlwind holiday visit, and we had just thirty minutes to summarize the past six months while we navigated crunchy snow covered sidewalks.

We covered our bases immediately, and gave the frigid temps only 30 seconds of air time. Normally we’d spend a good mile complaining about the cold. Not today though- I cut to the chase.  Did she like her new home and state or what… and could she please just move back so I could have my friend-since- childhood/Tuesday a.m. running partner back?

My friend paused. She explained that some of the aspects of her move were okay… but overall, things were not all that they were cracked up to be. From the extremely hot weather to unfriendly neighbors to fire ants that prevented her kids from playing in their own front yard… it became clear that the move wasn’t what she had expected.  In fact, the more she talked, the more I wondered why she didn’t contact a realtor while she was in town.  Somewhere in the middle of a really grim description of her new home, she caught herself, and tried to make things seem better.

“It’s not like we live in the jungle or anything…I guess it’s okay for awhile.”

This reminded me of times my friends or I have been upset. In the midst of personal chaos, we’ve said things like, “Well, I know things could be worse. There are famines, diseases, crime, wars…”  And while this is certainly true, I’d like to point out that life isn’t designed to be a contest of who has it the worst.  It’s okay to talk about, and try to improve, bad or even just sort of bad situations even when we haven’t won the “world’s most dire straights” award.

Let’s face it- we all go through ups and downs in life.  During these times we need our running buddies and other support systems more than ever to help us realize that we don’t have to put up with situations or things that we know aren’t good for us.  It’s okay to make major, minor, or whatever changes necessary to deliver us from situations we don’t dig. In other words, we don’t need to live, work, and run in the jungle in order for us to quit the job that’s killing us, move out of the home or city we hate, or decide to pull the plug on a frigid -2 degree run.  In fact, it’s perfectly acceptable to follow our instincts and put an end to something that is is just plain not resonating with our inner and outer beings.

Because, the bottom line is… although it is a jungle out there, it doesn’t mean we have to put up with all that it brings.  Sometimes it’s okay to grab hold of the closest vine and high tail it out of there.

Copyright 2010

by Abbey Algiers

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