The poop that couldn’t wait
When I started writing on medium. I had one goal, to learn how to write stories well. I genuinely believed that I was terrible story teller and I needed loads of practice. Something different happened. Instead of learning how to write powerful stories, I learnt how to be a more honest writer.
I thought my stories were bad and that my writing style was unpalatable, what I have learnt instead is this:
People connect with the details that they have lived, felt, and experienced.
Some of the most random details in my story end up being the most profound to other people simply because the moment and feeling and detail it represents resonated with their lived experience.
So here I am recognizing that this post can be as long or short as I want. It can be about something or nothing but as long as it’s honest, job done.
Today’s job, I mean story, is quite embarrassing. But I can feel a liberation coming from telling it. If I can tell this story, I know I can tell any others.
I live in a 4 bedroom house and three of us live upstairs. Technically two of us share a bathroom but I think I see the third person in there sometimes too.
Last night was Monday, and with every Monday night. I eat myself into food coma. I had left over Thai fried rice with beef pannang curry. If you know my routine then you know, every Sunday, I go to a Thai place not far from church after church.
I tweaked my routine now to get extra food than I need to eat in one sitting so that I can eat the left over for Monday night. Something special happens on Mondays that makes me super hungry around 6 but that is a post for another day.
In the past, pre-Covid, my Monday routine consists of getting off work at 5:15, zooming to an Indian & British store to get groceries like powdered milk, milo, eclairs, and other varieties of candy. In addition, I would get Lamb Biryani “medium spicy” from Nina’s — the store.
Since moving back to Irvine, the drive to Nina’s is no longer on my way so experimenting with Thai food as my new go to makes sense.
Anyways, I ate all of the left over which was more than 3/4 of the full meals for both because I didn’t eat much at lunch on Sunday. On top of that, I had like 5 apples and more than half of my cashew nut bag that I got from Trader Joe’s — another part of my routine not relevant to this story.
In other words, I ate ALOT of food. So much so that I had calls and texts and snaps and IG messages to respond to but I was incongruent most of the evening. Throughout the night at least 4 times, I woke up to snack ok more apples, cashew nuts, and orange juice.
It was a grand night. I love food, probably over sleep so Inasmuch as I should be Leary of interrupting my sleep, I savored the snacks instead.
Fast forward to this morning, I woke up and I was catching up with the messages and calls that I had missed when my belly gave me a warning shot. I stayed laying down like yo… my routine says I have 30–35 more minutes to snooze before I need to get up. Relax yo.
I heard the toilet door open and someone had gone in. Simultaneously my belly kicked like a baby wanted to come out now. It was labor time and this poop was past its patient point.
I don’t know what made it so mad, the fact that someone else was using the toilet and I had not reacted sooner to it’s prompting or the reality that I felt in control and I was gonna get up when I want and not when I needed to let it out.
Either way, I jumped out to confirm if indeed the toilet was occupied. Yes, it was occupied by my next door neighbor who is supposed to not be home. In that very moment, I drew upon my many years of experience delaying poops that are impatient. After all, I am a freaking adult!
This one was different. I didn’t have time to think of the unique new combination I put into my belly last night and how this impatience was a new kind of stimuli. All I heard in my mind was this:
You are gonna make a mess like a little kid and I will make you feel all the shame in the world.
As soon as I heard little kid. Potty came to mind. I have a small trash can by my bed. My windows were open to the world, so I found a plastic bag to lay on top of the trash can whilst looking for a spot in my room not open to the world.
Before I was done with my setup, the poop was knocking on the door of my boxers. I got my bum into the trash and I didn’t Sit right so the poop warned me. I adjusted and splash.
What the heck did I eat last night ??
About 2 minutes later, the toilet door opened and my roommate was done. I wasn’t sure what I felt. Anger, joy, relief, or a big Ole smile.
So why did I just share this most embarrassing story:
- It was hilarious and the voice of obedience told me to.
- Life will squeeze, we all know we can’t always control what will come out. But we can’t always control when it will.
- Sometimes, making a mess is inevitable, enjoy the process and invest in cleaning it up.
- The shame we feel from helpless situations are lies.
- What life throws at me is nothing to be ashamed about, how I respond defines me. You are not ashamed that I pooped in a trash can, you are impressed that I improvised beautifully.
- Telling the story, being honest about the details, hugging yourself, giving grace. This is what makes us humans, especially once’s that people relate with.
- Telling my embarrassing story liberates the lies of shame and self loathe that others feel from feeling alone in their mess.
- Take as much time as you need to respond even when it feels like there is only time to react.
After the mess, I took the trash into the toilet and I marvelled at the fact that nothing made it onto the cArpet. It was a surgical clean up. Got the trash emptied and cleaned up. Replaced the trash bag and I wrapped the trash bag in another trash bag to be dumped in a big dumpster.
In other words:
I made a mess. I cleaned the mess.
My take away:
Covid-19, Corona, pandemic, whatever else you can’t control might be forcing a mess out of you. Relax, enjoy the mess process. You are able to clean up after all this is over.
I am what I eat and who I ooze when life squeeze.