There’s a gecko in our room and I’m scared. Let’s be clear, I am not a “startled, oh you scared me” scared. For the last thirty minutes my feet were rooted to the stone floor like I was a statue. I watched the Gecko crawl, with a slow and determined rhythm up the wall and across the ceiling directly above my bed. I hoped it would crawl to some magic portal and disappear. That didn’t happen. So now, I find myself up, at 1:47am, mad at a Gecko.
Since I’ve spent the last 28 days writing my heart out, and participating in an intensive and amazing personal growth seminar, I’m working with a lot of clarity. So I’m just going to process this fear disguised as anger, and work this all out. Maybe it will help others who find themselves mad at amphibians in the middle of the night.
This Gecko represents my fear. This is a sign meant specifically for me for two reasons. My friend and roommate is in the next bed asleep. I woke her up, almost an hour ago now, to warn her that this frightening thing was in our room on the wall. Because it was sitting so high near the ceiling, and it didn’t move when she hit the wall, she decided there was nothing she could do, and went back to sleep.
The second reason Fear – I’ve named the Gecko Fear because I’m tired of writing the Gecko – is meant for me is I’ve been in Bali for a long time, and Fear’s family move with lightning speed. They pause, freeze, but also seem to get from point A to point B with purpose. This one is just walking along the ceiling like it is taking a stroll around the ceiling park, with no purpose or destination. I recognize this quality in the fears that I’ve lived with all of these years. They nestle around in my head and my heart, comfortable, keeping me awake and afraid.
So now, on my second to last morning before I return home, I’m sitting at the desk in our room, watching Fear the Gecko (I’m apparently not tired of writing the Gecko, it kind of has a nice ring to it), stroll on the ceiling. I have a few options.
I can ring the alarm, call the front desk, call our facilitators, wake my roommate up (again), some of my friends here, and have everyone swirl with me and Fear (my own and the Gecko). I can imagine it would involve some kind of chasing, swatting, cursing, tears, etc.
I’m not going to do that, especially since some folks have been dealing brilliantly with our animal brothers and sisters in their room.
My second option is to let Fear (my own and the Gecko) paralyze me, keep me up, and pretty much ruin the end of my trip. I can also continue to let it, the emotion kind, keep me afraid of living.
My third option is to go to sleep and get up the next day to live at least one more day of a powerful life. This requires me to face the situation head on, work through the scenario, and take some action to move forward.
I decide to take option three. I look up at the ceiling and realize that as I’ve been writing this, Fear the Gecko has crawled away from my bed, and right above me over the desk.
The other day I emceed an open mic night for my fellow writers, and my friends jokingly named me Queen of the Geckos (because let’s be clear, my fear (the one that’s had me acting a fool at restaurants, and inspiring laughter these last few weeks) is well known). That night, I joked that I was afraid the Geckos would think I was their Queen and come to me for answers.
I say to Fear the Gecko, "I’m not the Queen, and I have no information about nothing". Yes, I said that out loud. I am not ashamed.
At this point, it is 2:30 in the morning, and now I am tired of my fear. The amphibian, and the ones I have carried for most of my life.
I’m going to bed.
I turn on the bathroom light, just in case Geckos have moth-like qualities and are drawn to light.
I build layers of protection, just in case Fear the Gecko’s goal is to touch a human foot or something. No one knows what Geckos think, so don’t judge me. I start to help my roommate, and protect her feet, but I don’t want to wake her up again. So she’s on her own.
I pretend the mosquito net is also a Gecko net and I tuck it in as much as possible, and I get in the bed and close it up. I arrange my pillows into a Fort Knox kind of barrier, and get under the cover with my phone and the computer. I leave an air hole, it would be unfortunate to suffocate, and I put in my earphones, and turn on music.
These are the last words I’ll type before I shut the computer off.
Me going to sleep is progress. I won’t let Fear The Gecko ruin me, and I will use the other fear as a tool to show me to a better place. A strong and powerful life, says the girl under the fort of pillows with the bathroom light on. Progress not perfection folks. Progress.