Tuesday 9 February 2016

FLASH FICTION: Upside Down by Tricia Stewart Shiu

The world looks very different upside down. I’ve just plopped myself, upside down, on my bosses worn leather chair, daring him to return from his meeting and catch me in this most unusual position.

With high heels where my head should be and head in the foot position, I gaze around his well appointed office.

I came into this high-level executive assistant position wanting to leave. You see, I’d already done this work for ten years, been through it all and left the previous job satisfied in the knowledge that I had completed the hitting my head against the glass ceiling portion of my life. But, my husband lost his job and I did what most people do in those circumstances—asked myself I could do that would bring in the most money—and the inevitable choice was going back to being an assistant. I could do it with my eyes closed and, on occasion, literally have done so.

Six years, seven months, 19 days, 20 minutes and 36 seconds ago, I took this job. Let’s be clear, I am infinitely grateful for the money that this work  brings in and the monetary support this job has provided. In fact, approximately two days in, I decided I’d chart a course for learning. This job wasn’t going to get me down!

Accordingly, I took healing courses, wrote stories, meditated…all while enduring some of the most intense pressure in my life.

Never mind about hopes and dreams, which I visualized hourly. Like a metaphysical picnic ground, my goal was to not only leave the office in better shape than I found it, but also depart having achieved the pinnacle of self actualization.

Cut to me, upside down in my bosses, chair.

What if he does discover me in this compromising position? I’ve reached a point of Groundhog Day-like significance. Nothing will change my position, literally and figuratively. Over the last six plus years, I’ve done everything I can to shift the energy, clear the negativity and, in the end, move myself along.

Back to my chair. It feels good to look at the world from this perspective. There’s something incredibly healing and relaxing in viewing the floor as the ceiling and the ground as the sky.

I have prayed, chanted, visualized  and even in a desperate attempt to occupy myself, crocheted, and still, I am here. About six months ago, I started imagining a myriad of exit scenarios.  Okay, honestly, I’ve been visualizing exits strategies since I strode through the double glass doors of our building’s lobby. In some imaginary scenes, I walked into my bosses office, in others I walked out the door, through those  glass lobby doors and out into the beautiful sunshine, exclaiming that I was free!

Sometimes, I imagine myself as a monk, wrapped in silence, connected with God, radiating love from deep within my soul.

Then I come back to the cold hard, upside down reality in which I sit. Toes over brain, root chakra over third eye.

I sit back up and see the room with fresh eyes. I am certainly proud of the time and space I’ve allowed myself and I’ve become incredibly attuned to my thoughts, words and actions—never a bad thing.

Walking back to my seat, I sit at my new old desk and inhale, grateful to have a break from my thoughts. As I exhale, the phone rings and I go back to work.

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