Saturday, January 12, 2013

Lack of Imagination

It happens more frequently than I'd like to admit, but sometimes I suffer from a debilitating lack of imagination. Seems hardly possible, right? Especially since who would have ever dreamed I would end up where I am...in the middle of a successful *military* career. I mean, that takes nearly a suspension in reality to even conceive of. But no, I really do think I have trouble picturing myself in some situations, and last night my own small-mindedness kept me from an incredible opportunity.

There MC Hooligan and I were, at about 1630 hanging in our office, racing each other to wrap up our respective week-ahead emails to the XO when who should walk in but the XO himself. Usually when the XO comes in, there is a brief moment of suspense until we figure out which one of us he is getting ready to task. But last evening he took a different tact and starting off with "We have a unique opportunity for an O3 or an O4." He went rambling on (which is somewhat unusual for an individual who is normally DIRECT and TO THE POINT) about how CG-82, by way of XXXX, came into a pair of tickets to the Inaugural Ball (!!!!!!) for a Reviewer and their guest. It took me another moment or two to realize he wasn't just in the office with idle gossip about these tickets...he was asking if I wanted the tickets.

Upon this realization, the first words that popped out of my mouth were, "Holy f***!" At which point I think he immediately regretted asking me.

I quickly said yes, and went flying off on flights of fancy about the Rocket Scientist coming up for the weekend and going to this spectacularly awesome and historic event in my beautiful ball...go...w...n...oh crap, I probably would have to go in uniform. Which I don't have, never before being in receipt of an invitation to an event which required Dinner Dress Blues. I thought briefly about the possibility of borrowing a set from the one person I reckoned might have them, not initially considering the fact that she is 5'9" and probably two cup sizes bigger than me (there is only so much even a good tailor can do). So I reluctantly turned the tickets down, suggesting to the XO that he should probably look for someone else who was better prepared with a full O4 seabag.

The ironic kick in the head came about 45 minutes later when I found out that one of the other women in the office has a set of DDBs that she said would likely fit me. I went back to the XO to check if the tickets were still available; he had already given them to someone else...who was in the process of finding DDBs because she didn't have any either.

I think I fell victim to the confines of my own self-image. I couldn't think big enough to imagine myself at such a fancy soiree. I get stuck in thinking of myself as a mostly uncouth, socially graceless sailor. I pigeon-hole myself, assume I can't break out of my mold. Which is kinda funnily ironic given how much I tout my ability to face a challenge as one of my defining characteristics.

I remember a little scene from when I was about 8 or 9; I was trying to teach myself how to hock a lougie (is that how it's spelled?). I thought at the time it was one of the coolest things a kid could do. There I was, out in the parking lot of our townhouse complex, trying to spit. I must have just eaten a piece of cherry or cinnamon flavored candy, because my spit was coming out pink. My sister and I were waiting by our car, getting ready to go somewhere with Mom, and Vicki was so thoroughly disgusted with my totally disgusting behavior. She told Mom I was spitting, and I got in trouble. Yes, it was totally gross, but just recently I was out with Vicki somewhere, and hocked a big ol' nasty ball of snot out of my throat, and then apologized sincerely for my abjectly rude action. Vicki said she was a little jealous, she had never learned how to do that, and wasn't it a useful thing to be able to do sometimes. This from the woman who reads Miss Manners (my sincerest apologies again, Sis, for sharing such a base little anecdote).

But that's the paradigm (ugh) I'm comfortable in. I can clean up my act when I have to...which I *certainly* would have done for the Inaugural Ball! but it's not a natural state of being for me. It takes *effort.*

And as I write this, I realize I didn't just suffer from a lack of imagination...I also suffered from a lack of faith...in the universe at large. *So what!* I didn't immediately have the right uniform?!? If I had trusted the universe a little more, what really were the options? The only possible thing that *could* have happened was that I would find all the right bits and pieces to the uniform in time for the ball. With all the women stationed at Headquarters, I am sure someone there, hearing my story, would have lent me what I needed.

Definite *headsmack* moment. Think *BIG!* Dream *BIG!* Don't ever let the little things get in my own way...especially my own small thinking. Lesson learned.

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