I’ve come to an important conclusion: There are too many rules in this world.
And it’s time we stopped being part of the system.
I was at my pool recently, and a duck suddenly flew from out of somewhere and landed on the water. It didn’t seem very sanitary to me, but I’m pretty sure worse things have likely entered that pool than a little duck grossness. I was in the middle of reading but had to stop and watch this duck—because what was he doing? Didn’t he know that he didn’t belong in a pool and should find the nearest pond?
I’m not sure if he knew, but he certainly didn’t care. Well played, duck. Well played.
I have to admit that I respect a duck who shows no regard for societal standards. Homeboy was not concerned with where others thought he should be or the fact that chlorine may or may not be dangerous to him (I’m not really sure what chemicals a duck’s system can tolerate). He simply wanted to come float in a pool, and so that’s what he did.
And on that day, I found myself inspired by a duck.
It’s easy to feel like you don’t belong sometimes, especially when other people remind you of that. I remember when I was in sixth grade and tried to play football with the boys during P.E., and a coach told me that girls can’t play football. I was not a duck that day. Then there was pretty much every single day of my college career at SMU, where I constantly felt like I didn’t belong, and more than one person reminded me of that. I was not a duck when I was a Mustang. And then there were the first few weddings I attended when the slow songs started playing, and it was time for the single people to clear the dance floor. I was not a duck back then. I’m sure there are plenty more non-duck situations, but I’ll stop there.
Because it’s much better to be like that silly duck who doesn’t care if he’s in a pool or a pond.
I certainly can’t say I’m like him all of the time. I still have moments when I listen to the system and go back to the pond. But I’ve learned how great the pool can be. I’ve learned that it’s better not to let others say I can’t do things because I’m a girl—sometimes I can try to play with the boys if I want. I’ve learned that I’m not going to be in the same social class as everyone in every situation, but that’s alright—we’re all still people. I’ve learned that you don’t have to have a dance partner for every slow song—twirling by yourself is not a lost art. (I would like to note, however, that forever twirling solo is certainly not the goal.)
And I’ve learned that it’s better to be a duck in a pool than a duck who doesn’t know where he belongs.
There are definitely places you shouldn’t go when you’re not expected to be there—I’m not going to walk into a men’s locker room anytime soon, and a fish really shouldn’t try to hang out outside of the water if he wants to keep his life going. But if there’s some place you know you’re supposed to be or something you know you’re supposed to do or say, then why not do the same thing as the ridiculous duck did? Just land in the pool, and start floating along in that water.
Because sometimes the pond is holding you back from being brave enough to test the chlorine-filled waters.