Finding My Inner Trickster
I have never been a real mischief-maker. As a young child I would snatch pieces of Brach’s caramel candies from the local grocery store. Then again, I thought those bulk bins meant free candy, especially when taken in small doses. You just opened up the transparent lid on the bins, conveniently placed at child’s height, and there would be a bounty of individually wrapped sugary goodness waiting to be grabbed by hungry little hands. I equated it to getting lollipops at the doctor’s office. It’s not like my Mom cared about my little thefts either. After dealing with my older sibling’s similar thievery of loose store candy my little transgressions were not a big deal. Come to think of it, maybe that was Brach’s plan all along. Entice young children with easy access to candy in the hope that they eventually pay for more. That’s drug dealer marketing!
As I got older I became an accessory to minor acts of mischief but never the ringleader. For example, there were numerous times of sneaking onto the local golf course and the occasional act of minor vandalism done at the urging or direction of friends, but that was just good-natured fun (Niki Witt, if by some miracle you are reading this, I apologize for tee-peeing your house in high school but I do not feel sorry for your brother who had to clean it up for he was a putz). In college there were the unsuccessful attempts to temporarily steal items of very limited value, like sorority composite pictures and plastic statues of the Buddha from the local Chinese buffet restaurant. Actually, that plastic Buddha statue was eventually stolen by people I associated with at the time but I was not involved in that attempt. Only goes to show that I was the hindrance in all other previous attempts. The proof is in the pudding. The point being that the attempts I was involved in were unsuccessful. I just didn’t have it in me to go the distance with mischief. It was better to be safe than sorry.
In my adult personal and professional life ,I have been generally risk-averse as well. I have adhered to the status quo while trying to be happy for what I have. Maybe that is where I have gone wrong. Perhaps I should be making mischief, causing potential discomfort, and pushing boundaries that I have artificially set upon myself. This is not to be confused with self-destructive behavior. I have been down that path more than once and there was no mischief involved in that sorry state of affairs, just self-loathing and misery.
It is more clearly defining what I want and taking steps to achieve those goals even if it means breaking a few eggs along the way. At work I rarely speak up against obvious bullshit. I have thought it better to let others fight the powers that be and take the fall if unsuccessful. I have exchanged potentially making positive change and showing leadership for the image of a non-troublemaker. It has been practical, but is it necessarily right?
The same hesitation to stir the pot has applied to my personal life. I have not taken risks on happiness with others because I have feared the worst case scenario of completely losing that person from my life. Recently I have hesitated to have the awkward “what are we” conversation with someone I care about. Knowing this person like I do, I am fearful that they will bolt for the nearest exit and I will have jeopardized the relationship we currently have with each other. However, life happens and will go on regardless. Life can be messy, annoying, and mischievous.
It is time for me to start taking some risks on happiness. It is time to start causing a little mischief and discomfort to myself and maybe others. It is time for me to do what has not come naturally. It is time for me to find my inner trickster.