In the past two months, I’ve quit my job, gotten married, moved to a different city, set up an apartment and gotten ready for school (which, unfortunately, starts tomorrow morning!). Although this has been an incredible time of (exciting) transition, I can’t help but notice how it’s been relativelyÂ flawless: my husband and I can live off savings while he looks for work,Â I can buy things to makeÂ our apartment pretty (I know, it sounds silly!)Â and we’ve had an incredibly supportive family, just to name a few things!
While it wasn’t particularly difficult to get us moved and settled, moving our cat, Gizmo,Â was an entirely different adventure. We decided it would be in his best interest to wait until we were settled before we put his little 13 year old world into total unheaval. We didn’t want him to have to deal withÂ the gradual evolution of the set-up ourÂ apartment or the millions of boxes nor what probably would’ve been moving his litter box several times before we’d settled where it should go.Â Actually, that may have had more to do with not wanting to clean the carpet if he couldn’t find it!Â While we could see beyond the mess of boxes and bank accounts, we weren’t confidentÂ that his limited perspective of the world would quite give him that ability.
After feeling incredibly guilty for luring him into his cage with a treat and forcing him into the car for two hours, we arrived. We carefully cornered him in the apartment before opening the cage for fear that he would take off running and terrorize the place but, to our surprise, it took him nearly 10 minutes to gather enough courage to find his way out. What followed was a pretty quick dash behind the toilet (I’m not sure why he decided that was a good hiding spot) and, very soon after, a comfortable hiding spot underneath the bed where he stayed for several hours.
We knew that he needed to get out of what had quickly become comfortable for him (the carpet under the bed) because his limited perspective of the world was really very crippling. We also knew that it would probably have to be painful for him because he wasn’t going to fall for any of our tricks after his two hour car ride. After a chase involving a broom (I promise, we were gentle), he was out and ready to face the world and the bedroom door was very quickly closed. Funny thing: after his initial anxiety, it only took a few minutes of exploring for him to get comfortable.
All this is to point outÂ that we become so incredibly comfortable in our ways of living and in our own perspectives of the world, like Gizmo, that it takes a lot to even think about moving outside of that. I’d be willing to suggest that most of us, including myself sometimes, have little idea of what the world is like outside our limited perspectives.
I think a lot of social action starts with at least an elementary understanding of our world and of how it works. That may mean travelling, meeting people from outside our own neighbourhoods, trying new food or just keeping up with international news. There’s something so incredibly powerful about understanding another perspective and getting our of our own. I’d even be willing to suggest that taking action could become infinitely easier if we’d just get outside our little cages and stay out from under the bed!
As for Gizmo, he’s sitting underneath the coffee table right now and I’m finally convinced that he’ll be okay.
Until next time…