It has been a reoccurring theme throughout my blog that I find creatures or things around me, using them in an analogical way to explore new perspectives and learn lessons about life. The character whose perspective I’ve most recently delved into happens to be, once again, a bug.
On Thursday, August 24, 2023, at around 10:18 am, Cooper Brumfield tapped on my shoulder. Annoyed, I turned my head to him, and he was gesturing excitedly at a little speck on the table. In my mind, I just assumed he was trying to continue our sibling-like dynamic by pestering me to no end, but right before I rolled my eyes, I saw the speck move. Upon closer inspection, I recognized it as a tiny, beetle-like creature, no bigger than a crumb. It was adorable and gross, and it fascinated me.
I snapped a few pictures and then leaned in close, long after Cooper had gone back to his writing assignment. I didn’t touch it, I didn’t catch it, I just watched. It made its way over to me, as did the cricket in my first blog, but this bug had a different end goal. Rather than seeking shade and seclusion, this bug sought a higher place. Its tiny little legs ventured their way over to the base of my pen, where it hesitated, calculating. I imagined that it was pondering the best way to reach the top, or whether it was worth it to start climbing at all. In the end, it reached up carefully, and it latched on to the back of the writing utensil.
Up it climbed, glorious and persevering. I brought my eyes down to its level and became immersed in the story. It was epic – the microscopic creature somehow trudging along, climbing valiantly. Up, and up, and up he went until finally: Yes! He reached the top! Every part of me ached to applaud it for its mighty feat – it inspired me how trusting it was of itself and its abilities, how brave it was to attempt such a treacherous climb, how proud it must have been to reach its destination and allow itself to pause for a rest at the climax. Alas, I was in the middle of a dead-silent classroom, and there was no hope of looking sane in cheering for a nearly invisible insect. Nevertheless, I applauded in my brain, hoping that it could sense that there was someone out there supporting it.
I realized something after this brief escapade into my imagination. I have an innate desire to pursue greatness, whatever that “greatness” may be. I try persistently to improve myself in one way or another, but when faced with huge goals or challenges, I often shy away.
I won’t be good enough.
I won’t do it right.
They will not approve of me.
It will be too difficult.
I am not worth it.
These are the types of thoughts that constantly plague me, no matter how vehemently I try to rid myself of them. However, this bug climbed all the way up, and across, and back around, and then down from my pen, despite it being mountainously large in comparison to the bug itself. I am unsure as to how bugs think, or if they even think at all, but I am vastly sure that there was no other bug in sight to judge or support its efforts. Therefore, the goal that it accomplished was solely for itself. Observing this allowed me to clear my head and realize that this is a quality that I need to strive for: ambition for the purpose of self-fulfillment. There’s always going to be someone I am not good enough for. However, if I live by my own standards, there is still a capacity for personal greatness, no matter how small my achievements might seem to others.