March 15, 2019, by Jem
Whenever I feel particularly stressed, I kneel down low and tuck my limbs in towards my tum to become very small and sweet; I’ve studied the hedgehog and in this here sequence of movements, I mimic its famous ball-up technique.
I will flatter myself by writing that I am able to achieve an uncanny likeness to the spiked mouse, such that its predators – wild owls – often swoop upon me when I’m balled. Mistaking me for their prey, they drag their terrible talons across my back and backside, in an effort to grip a hold of me, carry me up to the clouds, and end my life.
To resume my sequence of actions: once tucked into a ball, I close my eyes, grit my teeth, work my breath into a panicky tempo, and feel my chest thrum with the horrible tension of stress. It is when my brow has fully furrowed that I know for certain that my discomfort has reached its absolute maximum.
Upon my monobrow’s transformation into the shape of a ‘V’, I stand very suddenly, spread my arms wide, and release a powerful blast of energy. I have great difficulty describing the experience… it is all so terrifyingly instant and loaded with blind fury that I cannot claim to be in full control of my own mind when I release this supernatural blast.
What I will and must say is this morning, in a moment of deep distress, I assumed the hedgehog position by the campus lake. My chest hummed madly as I grimaced, and my monobrow underwent its morphosis in the discomfort of the procedure. I was moments away from releasing a colossal explosion of energy, when an owl nosedived from the heavens towards my exposed back.
I heard its squawk; a fierce battle cry. My eyes were firmly shut, but I could see the predator vividly… its dart-like beak glinting like a knife in the sun, the wind ripping through its excited fidgeting feathers, and those world-eating eyes fixed still on my spine, now less than a second from it. I was up in an instant, arms stretched wide, I had the wingspan of a huge plane.
“MmmmWWOoaaOOoHH!!” I roared, blasting the attacker into the clouds where it had claimed so many lives. That thing, if not in orbit, will return to the spot from which I launched it, potentially on fire, so be extremely cautious by the lake-side and keep an eye on the sky, for something feathery this way comes.
We can see now that stress may be harnessed to achieve great things. Discomfort can invigorate. Collect yourself and channel the crazed thrum of that engine named stress. You will then become potent in the face of deadlines.