Nov 23, 2013

Silly Epiphanies: Blisters as a Metaphor

The Epiphany

If there's one thing Europe taught me, it's that blisters really are a minor problem.


In the past, I had always stopped whatever I was doing, exercise, walking too far in "nice" shoes, and used blisters as an excuse to sit out until they got better.  I think part of me was worried about what would happen if I continued to irritate that skin - Can a blister form on a blister?  Would it eventually get to the point where it permanently damages my skin?

Europe, and my sisters, accepted no such excuses.  We had spent thousands of dollars to travel overseas, and we were going to keep walking and looking at stuff!  And I observed a strange phenomenon.  If you continued to walk (in sensible shoes, mind you), eventually you stopped noticing the pain of the blisters.  And they healed, despite the continued use of my feet.  Of course, new blisters formed under the old ones, and my feet got about as ugly as they've ever been.  But no permanent damage.  They're certainly not crippled, or even permanently ugly.  Nothing an at-home pedicure couldn't fix.

In Europe, blisters were the least of our worries.  Catch a hacking cough?  Sorry, one-of-a-kind hiking trip in Cinque Terre tomorrow; deal with it.  Fall and skin your knee?  We still have to get to the tiny Swiss village at the bottom of this mountain.  Get threatened, attempted pick-pocketing, stolen phone, lost in the Italian countryside?  Well... nothing else to do but deal with it the best you can and continue the journey.

So now, with this in mind, I ignore the blisters.  Sure, my pinkie toe hurts.  But you know what?  I really need to run this week and not just wait for a time when it's convenient.  Because that may never happen.  Things don't necessarily fall into place, and there's not always going to be a time when the stars have aligned perfectly and the world is telling you to do whatever it is that you want to do.  So you have to make it happen instead, and work around the little inconveniences.