Surveys and Sea Barnacles

So you might wonder what one has to do with the other. I never thought I could associate them, but somehow I did.

I’ve always fought with all the “have to” beliefs set up by society… have to study, have to work, have to marry, something that in Honduran society, it’s almost impossible to avoid. So after a while of fighting, I decided to give in and officially enter the “grown up” phase. Sleeping, eating, working, growing a mustache; sounded dreadful, but hey, that’s real life, right?

I’d been at my job for five years and had turned into a sea barnacle (except for the hermaphrodite part). Yes, sir. I had finally attached to a steady place, after being a young barnacle in love with the world, swimming around every place I could, trying to find, as a Honduran saying goes, “what I hadn’t lost”. As an adult barnacle, I had found my comfort zone doing what the rest did; finding a safe place and just staying there, surviving.

After a quick 2 year resolution, I decided it was time to detach from my comfy niche. I would start my rebirth by having a regression to that stage in life where the young barnacle would just LIVE and not worry about the unknown. I had heard of traditional “call centers”, and decided to take the leap of faith into the immediate available option, confront my adult barnacle, take off my grown up mustache and engage with these new surroundings that were nothing but traditional. I found my new hero, a steady hard rock surface that emerged, wandered the waters exploring and learning about my current environment, finding it to be welcoming, motivating, and warm, with lots of funny young barnacles like myself.

What a place! Young barnacles can be themselves without being judged. Their opinions are truly valued and asked for. It compels you to learn and has you exploring to test your potential, giving you the opportunity of evolving into something you’ve never expected or that you craved. Most importantly, it comes along with a sense of belonging, making you feel appreciated and not just one of the many barnacles out there. I met the barnacle patriarch one day, and this discovery entirely made sense, his vision was reflected on the new-found civilization, and as word was spreading over the ocean, all sorts of living things from other surroundings urged to experience barnacle heaven.

I was already feeling happy as a clam for having the courage to jump into the unknown and finding that a mustache did not bring the security it promised, when suddenly a survey from HR was sent to my email, inquiring as to what other benefits could the happy young barnacles receive. I thought for a while and realized I was already getting so much and being so grateful for it, no thought came to mind, other than what I’ve always wanted a flying monkey. Something made me think that maybe the monkey might be out of the question, so feasible requests should probably come to my head. When it finally hit me; …this survey was the ultimate proof that comfort zones can bring you just that,comfort. You will never know if you could be at a better stage until you’ve swam the waters of life and experience falling, attaching, detaching and all the pleasures that uncertainty might bring.

The truth is, just because you haven’t heard of something, doesn’t mean it doesn’t exist. Detach yourself from what is said to be done, explore and never let anyone or anything tell you what you can or can’t do, or make you go in ways your heart doesn’t desire. In the end, it’s better to regret having lived and fallen, than regret having being an adult barnacle for the rest of your life just because others said it was the way to go. You only have one life to live; swim, jump, explore, experience;but most of all, enjoy.

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