The Princess Bride

Posted by Jill Chivers in My Story

The Princess Bride

Hello and welcome to post #52. I haven’t posted on a Wednesday in a while, so this week seemed a good time to do it.

So, I’m going to go a little metaphorical with this post. Hope that’s ok with you. It’s because I have to, you see. Because something is happening for me. Within me. I have this very clear sensation that something is going on, some shift, is happening.

I’m feeling all kinds of intense things, and am generally feeling a little uncomfortable. Like when you have cut yourself and it’s scabbed up; you know that the wound is healing, but it scratches like mad, you know that feeling? Well, it’s kind of like that.

And so…. what does this have to do with the shopping challenge? Well, something. I’m sure it has something to do with it. I’m still working out how the lines are drawn directly from the challenge to this feeling, but I know it’s connected.

Let me give this a try: shopping has been a method that I’ve used to both express and channel feelings. So, now that I no longer have this method at my disposal, what do I do with those feelings when they are in need of expressing or channeling? Where do they go instead? Last week, I talked a little about the dark side of this. Well, it’s been more of that same thing, except it’s not quite so dark now. I’m moving along, emotionally speaking.

Wuv, twue wuv. Let’s talk about Wesley and Buttercup for a minute. We’re talking The Princess Bride now, but you knew that already, right? I mean, doesn’t everyone use The Princess Bride as a guide on how to live one’s life? Sure they do.

So, you know how Wes and Bcup had experienced a spine-tingling, nerve-jarring, no-thanks-but-ok-if-I-have-to journey that took them up hill, down dale, through the Fire Swamp, the Thieves Forest, into despair, being tortured and betrayed, spat upon by warty old crones, jumping into eel-infested waters, battling revenge-focused Spaniard fencers? Well, the journey I’m on now is a bit like that.

The Princess Bride is a modern metaphor of the sort that Pilgrims Progress is (which scared the living poop out of me as a child, I still get a nervous tick in my left eye when I think about it). It describes how with every challenge, there are many layers.

You think you know what danger you’re facing, but it turns out to be something more than what it appears. The challenge is more sinister, requires more courage, or involves a 7ft giant with hands the size of a bunch of sausages. That you didn’t see coming.

Slaying the dragon, one toenail at a time. You think you know what you need to face it, to conquer it, to walk away with a swagger in your step, chest out and chin held high. But you don’t know what it’s going to take. And the kicker is: it always takes more than you’d be willing to bet (before you started) you wanted to give. But by the time you’re there, in that place, you have to keep going. That’s how these challenging journeys extract their price – you are choiceless by the time you realise how deep you’re going to have to dig. It’s either hands on the shovel, or bye byes.

Ok, someone hand me a head mic and a soapbox, I’m on a roll with this now. We could wax on for hours about how instructional The Princess Bride is, right? It’s so freakin’ apt. And, I’m going to admit it, it’s really helped me to see that even though this 12 months seems to be about saving money, not purchasing, staying out of the shops, it’s not really about those things.

Sure, those things are happening, but that’s not the real challenge. The real challenge is happening far beneath the surface. My plates are shifting (there’s that seismic analogy again). My molecules are moving, my neural networks are changing shape. And, just like having a ROUS (Rodents of Unusual Size) take a chunk out of your shoulder, that’s gotta hurt a bit. Right?

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