Storytellers of Greek tragedy serve to remind us that no one is exempt from the vicissitudes of unforeseeable life circumstances. We have all read those Greek dramas, the stories of oppressive woe and thought ‘Geeze, how can someone get themselves into such a pickle?’ I believe however, that there does indeed come a time in everybody’s life where the domino effect of misfortune slowly but surely topples your life down into one almost laughable, perfect storm of a shit show.
As with everyone who experiences this thing called life, I have had my fair share of slight dramas, the latest one comes when I try to explain how my life went from being a professional established dancer one day to a drug dealer just a few days later (well, kind of. That slight over-exaggeration is but for dramatic effect. Read on and you will understand).
Three weeks ago I broke my arm in a rehearsal for my job as a freelance professional dancer, effectively leaving me income-less for at least the next two months in one glorious falling on a metal rod split-second. As a 29-year-old with what you would hope to have much more adulting experience, of course I did not have income protection insurance and as I later find out, completely insufficient Health insurance. I thought, not to worry too much, I will hop on a plane to the beautiful beaches of Australia and stay at my family home and recover in the sunshine. There could be worse places to have to recover and deal with an injury. My parents, happily living the retirement dream caravanning around Australia, refused my requests to come home and look after me like a spoilt nine-year-old. And, as you can see from above, this did not go down too well for a barely adulting almost 30 year old.
I’m all for making lemonade out of lemons so my attempt to jump back on the horse went through various stages of hopelessness to denial, acceptance to, this is going to be a great opportunity for me to do new things, look how emotionally mature I am, to, F%£@ my life is screwed, and repeat.
Until this year I’ve never taken drugs before, however a recent trip to California where weed is in fact legal began my first encounter with this recreational sport. Since returning to Europe, and Berlin, where despite drugs being as readily available as tictacs, the fact that they are illegal created pause for the Christian Schoolgirl within me. Long story short, a few days after my injury and convincing myself that I prefer a more natural remedy for pain relief, I end up in the car of a weed Foodora Home delivery service. Now, as someone as green as I am (pun intended) with regards to drugs, I have no idea how drug dealer protocol works, and unfortunately was way too scared and naive to ask questions. As such, I end up leaving with €50 worth of cannabis without the slightest clue of how to even roll it. In street terms, as I have since found out, that is a significant stash of weed, to which it is now the responsibility of my boyfriend to help me disseminate.
It is interesting in hindsight to look back and see how one traumatic split-second accident can lead you down that all too familiar path from career woman and financial security, to questioning the existence of your Parents love for you (they do, don’t worry), to making your boyfriend into a drug dealer. Stories like this remind us that life happens. Whether or not things happen for a reason is up for debate, but what can be for sure, is how well we respond to it, and how much we can eventually laugh at it at the end of the day. These times in life create within us pause and stillness that the usual busyness of life permits us to skirt around. It causes us to come face to face with various existential and psychological questions that have been waiting to jump us from the bushes, and pin us down until it has robbed every last illusion and un-substantive belief.
So what lesson can be learnt from this (obviously made up) story about dancer turned clueless weed disseminator? First of all, find a handy manual, an idiots guide to buying weed, don’t go it alone. Secondly, regardless of how much better or worse it could have been, how much more rock bottom you could have gone or how far you think you’ve fallen, try to imagine your Greek tragedy as more like a chance to pause and take stock. The bitch slap of life is really just a friendly reminder for you to do a restock on your values, priorities and belief systems. The comfortability of life sometimes allows us to skirt around how important it is to keep our values, our priories and our actions in check. These lofty sets of ideals are the bedrock of our lives and the rudder that steers the ship of our own quality of existence. So, when life gives you lemons, my best advice is to just stick them down your bra and make your boobs look bigger. All the whilst pondering far more important existential questions of life. And whilst being half baked, of course.