Shotgun

Shotgun…?

I’ve been sad lately.

Despite what I said in Keys,” there has been a quiet undercurrent of sadness gradually weighing me down and dragging me under.  It all came to a head on Friday morning as I drove home from dropping my son off at school.

I put myself together hastily so I could make the short trip to the middle school around the corner: I straightened the dress I’d slept in (yes, the one from work on Thursday), smeared a finger roughly over the remnants of yesterday’s make-up that had settled under my eyes, raked my hands through my disheveled matted hair, and scraped a toothbrush hurriedly across my teeth.  Good enough would have to do or else he’d be late.

On the way back home, the seatbelt alarm irritated me and my eyes darted angrily to the passenger seat. Daisy sat there happily peering out of the windshield.

Daisy Riding Shotgun

That’s when it hit me: she’d ‘called shotgun’ after we dropped him off at school.

And it really got me to thinking about who’s riding shotgun in my life.

Clearly the missing keys aren’t riding shotgun – he “didn’t wanna stick around!” I sang the line from the song and laughed for the first time in days.

Calling Shotgun

When I got home, I decided to do my own form of ‘calling shotgun’ – I texted and called a series of people whom I trust to ride shotgun in my life.

I was in trouble and I knew it.  I’d spent two days consciously worrying about why I’d been abandoned and why I wasn’t ‘good enough’ for my friend to stick around.  That really was some stinkin’ thinkin’ and it landed me right here in this seemingly insurmountable funk.

My friends responded; I got what I needed instead of the pity party I wanted.  “What you’re doing isn’t good for you and won’t help the situation.”  “Are you serious? GEEZ!  Get up and go take a damned shower!”  “I’m on my way over to make you a cup of coffee and burn that dress.  You better be showered before I get there.”

Their comments reminded me that ‘shotgun’ had a tangible meaning before the colloquial one.

I huffed, fussed, cried.  But I got up and showered; my friends’ buckshot had hit its mark.

Who is your shotgun?

Mentally, I know that I’m the peacock inside.  Mentally I know my worth. Mentally I’m pissed at having been treated with such disregard and simultaneously I’m at peace about having lost those keys.  But somehow the heart refuses to buy-in.

Sometimes we call on our friends to stand up with us in the face of a negative life event.  They aim their shotguns at ‘the bad guy’ or the terrible life event and they fire in the form of commiseration and lamentation.  Then they stand watch until we get back on our feet.

Sometimes, however, we find ourselves at the muzzle of those shotguns – just as I did on Friday.

If we have chosen our companions wisely,

then those who “ride shotgun” in our lives

are there for us, protecting us

even from our own wounded selves.

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About ExaltedPeacock

Finding cool new things each day to love about me & those around me. Everyone is peacock beautiful. Celebrate it!

10 responses to “Shotgun”

  1. Charlene says :

    As I read this, I was literally riding shotgun while my boyfriend drove us to a pumpkin patch; in the background the radio surrounded me with the words, “break and burn and end.” When I finally finished reading, I paid more attention to the words emanating from the radio: Taylor Swift was singing about her version of losing keys, “but on a Wednesday, in a cafe, I watched it begin again,” just as I know you will.

  2. corie says :

    That blog made me think hard, sometimes you ride shotgun in your own life too. Having children for instance. You’re a good mom and a good person, don’t ever get confused.

    • ExaltedPeacock says :

      Corie – Do you mean we ride shotgun to our life circumstances and priorities? For example, the “mother-Corie” sits in the driver’s seat while the individual-woman-Corie rides shotgun … helping navigate and keeping watch as I described in my post? Corie still exists and provides support to herself as she mothers her babes?
      I keep reading and rereading your comment – pondering how we decide who gets the driver’s seat and how your comment fits with the analogy. Thank you so much for posting it 😉

  3. JAC says :

    After reading this I thought of you fondly….”To laugh often and much, to win the respect of intelligent people and the affection of children, to earn the appreciation of honest critics and endure the betrayal of false friends, to appreciate beauty, to find the best in others, to leave the world a bit better, whether by a healthy child, a garden patch…to know even one life has breathed easier because you have lived. This is to have succeeded!” – Emerson

  4. corie says :

    Heather,
    That is a very good interpretation of it. Of course a sole being is the driver of said self, but sometimes you are obligated to put others before you. At certain points in your life you may gradually slip into the passenger’s seat of your own life while the other person (people) you put ahead of yourself actually drive.
    Co-dependent relationships and parenthood for example.
    Woman Corie wants to explore and live a selfish life full of travel but those thoughts are diminished at this point in life because she has two children to look after. They rely on her and many life decisions are based solely on their well being, requiring Mother Corie to direct Woman Corie’s life.

  5. Long Neck says :

    I would love to see more specificity. More tangible things that are well defined. You do a fantastic job of setting up a scene or a feeling or an idea and so i can imagine how well you could describe an action, object or event. Keep writing, now that i can see these at work i’ll be more likely to comment!

  6. Lanod says :

    The skill you have to be able to paint so beautifully with words is enchanting..! Breath taking even! Leaves me thinking everyone needs someone to talk to. Its just that simple. We weren’t created to be alone. Sitting here thinking about the times when there is no one around for you. Its not like you can expect people to be there 24/7 and revolve around your world all the time. So when that happens who automatically rides shotgun in your life? Who do you turn to?

    • ExaltedPeacock says :

      Lanod –
      I think people are naturally built to need one another. We cannot ignore the crave inside us that begs for human contact lest we emotionally starve.
      That said, I think there are times when being alone is simply the way of things, something unavoidable. And I think we should learn to rejoice in those moments and deeply exhale for the down-time to reconnect with “self.” Each person’s way of doing that is inidcative of who their “automatic shotgun” is, indicative of how they define “self” and theirconnectedness to it.
      Given solitude, some turn to meditation, others to prayer, some to the thing that brings them the most joy. And then there are less introverted activities like video games, internet surfing, emptying our DVR, reading a good book, or engaging in a physical activity we love. And then there are those who struggle in these moments and want so desperately NOT to be alone with themselves that their automatic shotgun is alcohol or drugs or other numbing forms of “companionship.”
      In a way, this ties to how I feel about myself in general. Who am I? And who said that is who I am? In my life, I find solace in writing. I have defined myself as an author. I find deep satisfaction in being able to express an idea in a way that others can not only relate to, but can also FEEL in an experiential way. I love sharing myself that way and I feel most whole when I am doing it. My shotgun is a pen and an endless stack of paper. I feel empowered when I write and it helps me remember that I can be strong and solid and independent singularly for myself and by myself.
      Who / what is your automatic shotgun?

  7. Earl Kleinhenz says :

    I simply want to tell you that I am newbie to blogging and definitely savored you’re website. Probably I’m planning to bookmark your blog post . You surely have really good article content. Thank you for sharing your web page.

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