One day Henrietta decided to exit her shell. She stretched into the tickling warmth spreading across her body. It had been a long time.
“Well that’s not something you see every day! Hello,-?”
“Henrietta, and uh, you are?”
A conversation started and quickly all the critters welcomed her. She couldn’t help but notice comments about snails hiding in their shells.
She didn’t want to be like them, she was going to be different! Not trusting her own opinion of herself, Henrietta focused on other people’s opinions and people-pleasing became a way of life.She’d leave her shell entirely if she could, surgery always hovered at the back of her mind.Weren’t slugs so sleek and beautiful? Fully engaging in the world around her, Henrietta got a job and an active social life. To keep up she acquired a flashy motorcycle. Not using her shell, Henrietta was always on the lookout for a new house. Focusing on the latest trends she was determined to find the perfect environment for her many health problems and cutting-edge lifestyle. Henrietta suffered from constant dryness. An endless string of health aids and dieting fads marched through her life to cope with the dryness and that bulge at the back she couldn’t quite be rid of.
After some time, Henrietta began to tire of her busy life, the “health” tonics were taking their toll. One day a terrifying thing happened. Rounding a corner, a loud screech caught her and a chrome grill flanked by knobby tires loomed over her sending her skidding across the pavement. Instinct took over and she found herself inside. Old familiar smells and comforts enveloped her. As her racing heartbeat calmed, Henrietta quickly came out, afraid someone saw. Methodically, she retrieved her scattered things and righted her motorcycle. Nonchalantly brushing off the near-death experience. But the touch of her shell wouldn’t quite leave her.
That night when no one was looking, she decided to just creep back in for a moment. Maybe I’ve left something in there, she justified. Once inside, Henrietta did not want to leave. The silky curves and pattern on the walls were her favorite colors! She had forgotten how much she loved to push up against that smoothness. After a few hours in there she fell asleep. Waking the next day, she stretched and started her normal routine, reaching for her many creams to recover from a night of drying out. Halfway through applying the cream, she realized she didn’t need it. Her skin was moist. Huh. Looking at the lineup of supplements, she noticed a complete absence of pain. Weird. Must be the new food she tried yesterday, she thought, Not wanting to give credit to her shell. Those Yung berries are doing the trick! And a glance at the wall clock sent her off on her busy day. Henrietta found herself staring out the window. Thoughts of how well she slept kept coming back. Slowing as she slid to lunch, the desire to return to that space pulled on her. Maybe her shell wasn’t as restrictive as she once thought. Could it be possible? She had left that life long ago. Why would she go back? Isn’t her life so much better here? No, life wasn’t. Henrietta didn’t want to admit it but she spent a lot of time covering up dry patches in her life that nagged at her. Was she happier? It’s just the weather, she dismissed. Next week I’ll be on my action-packed vacation in the warm moist rainforest, and all would be well.
All wasn’t well. In the rush to leave on her trip, Henrietta pulled many late nights and as she packed and got on the plane, the familiar cloudiness around her head settled in. Oh dear. She was NOT going to let a cold ruin her vacation. But as the flight progressed, she felt worse and worse. Limping to her hotel room, all she wanted was to sleep. Tossing around in her perfectlooking accommodations when booking months ago, Henrietta couldn’t get comfortable. Finally, she pulled into her shell and instantly fell asleep. After eleven hours she woke, having missed her first guided tour and scuba lessons. Henrietta had no desire to go and be around people. She couldn’t muster the energy to leave her shell. So, she stayed. The entire five-day trip, quiet in her room letting herself just BE. Reacquainting herself with her shell. At the end Henrietta knew she had to make some changes. She had banished a major part of herself most of her life. Time to include and love this part of her.
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