You know that feeling when you’re a kid and you’re just old enough to use the monkey bars? You have this racing heart that draws you in, and this fiery feeling in your belly starts to rise as you hear the voices of everyone around you, encouraging you to get up there and try it. It’s breathtaking, and enticing, at first.
Once you finally get up there, though, it’s daunting. It’s like, suddenly, you’re up there, gripping on for dear life trying to remember what the ground feels like. There’s a point where you kind of lose your grip and find yourself hanging on by a mere thread. You take a moment to come up with a reasonable plan of what to do next, until finally, you muster up all the strength you have in your entire body and use it to pull yourself back up. You have no choice now but to coil your entire arm around this damn bar, because if you don’t, you know you will lose it again. Suddenly, you need the monkey bars more than they need you.
The relationship I had with monkey bars, is now the exact relationship I have with my ego.
The ego in me represents this seemingly strong, stable entity. The exterior makes me feel as though it’s there to protect me, and it’s almost very believable. Even the ladder getting up to the bars is enticing — like this adventure or game I didn’t know was mandatory until everyone I knew was doing it. Eventually, I knew I had to, too.
It was like, regardless of what I wanted to do, these monkey bars kept pulling me in, making me think they are the only way to play with others.
The monkey bars can make a person feel as though they are doing the “cool” thing, or that they are being wild, and brave, and crazy. People even give you praise, and applaud you for your efforts trying to get to the other end.
That’s just when it grips you — suddenly, monkey bars = coolness and the need try new things, or make up a new game goes right out the window. It’s monkey bars, monkey bars, monkey bars.
There is no other way — it is this way. There is nothing else to focus on — it is right here, in front of you.
It’s funny, my whole life has consisted of me getting to the monkey bars as fast as I can. I hadn’t even stopped, to ask myself if I wanted to use the slide.
How many uncomfortable trips across the monkey bars are we going to have to make before we realize that monkey bars don’t actually equal freedom? That they actually equal the exact opposite of freedom.