Six-Word Story Challenge – “Reptile” & I was awarded the RAKA Award

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Reptile

 

Today’s challenge is: “Reptile”

“Murky water. Eyes blink before submerging.”

I look forward to seeing what you come up with. Feel free to post your answers on my website, FB, or wherever you happen to find this post.

Cheers,
J. I. Rogers


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I’d like the thank  wide-eyed wanderer for the nomination and Msw R for starting the award.

What is this?

 The Random Acts Of Kindness Award, otherwise known as the RAKA Award is given to anyone you think shows kindness to another blogger or writer or to the community here on WordPress.

If you know someone that has shown you or anyone else an act of kindness please nominate them for this award. I believe that any act of kindness no matter how small can significantly impact another’s life. So I feel it is great to acknowledge those who practice kindness.

The rules are simple.

1- Tell who you nominate and why.

2- Copy and share the picture that shows the award, posted above.

3- Share  a paragraph of something that impacted your own life in the way of receiving kindness or how you extended kindness to someone else.

4- Nominate anyone or share to your own page. If you so choose to Participate. Tag or ping-back to the original person who nominated you, or the original post.

First, I’d like to say thanks; I’m touched that you’d nominate me for this. This is not intended to be a chain-letter, so if you don’t have time to respond, don’t worry – it’s all good.

I have been the recipient of so many random acts of kindness it’s hard to know what to choose. I’m a firm believer in paying it forward and not ‘giving to get,’ and these acts of grace are always received with gratitude. I firmly believe that if you model the behavior you wish to see, then your world will shift to match you.

I thought long and hard about what I could share, and decided to go with something small and personal. There are people out there who’ve faced far worse and do so on a daily basis, but this impacted me at a sensitive point in my life. I’d just been diagnosed as ‘Manic Depressive’, but not given anything more to go on other than ‘it’s all in your head’ and ‘don’t do anything crazy, or they’ll lock you up.’ Thankfully we’ve come a long way since then.

It was 1987 (yep, I’m old). I was in the second half of my first year at Emily Carr College of Art and Design in Vancouver, B.C. (Emily Carr University of Art and Design now), and living with my relatives had become untenable. I was paying rent for room and board, but I’d essentially become a servant (one of my jobs was to clean out the horse stall while my cousin had equestrian lessons – no joke). I had no space to work on projects, no privacy at all, and had an hour and thirty-minute bus trip (rush hour both ways due to class schedule) to look forward to every day. There were times that I’d leave before breakfast and come home after dinner, so, no food. I was sinking into a depression but didn’t understand it.

All my money was tied up in tuition, supplies, and bus passes. I was ‘can’t-even-buy-a-coffee’ broke, so finding an apartment (even if it came with multiple roomies) wasn’t in my budget. My class schedule didn’t have any gaps where I could squeeze in a job and still sleep – I tried. I didn’t want to bother my parents with this; I didn’t want to cause family friction, or for them to think I was a failure for not making everything work.

Honestly, I was at wit’s end.

I confided this fact to a friend, then confessed I’d started sleeping part-time at the school and knew where all the 24-hour coffee shops and bakeries in the area were – they’d let you sit and read if you were quiet. She was outraged, spoke to her roommates, and later that day, I had their couch, rent-free, for two months. I will always be grateful to her for providing me with a safe, supportive place to live.

Epilogue: My parents became concerned when my relatives told them they didn’t know where I was and were indifferent to that fact. When I called home a few days later I got questioned to the nth degree and finally told them what had been going on. My dad showed up within six hours, picked me up, helped me move my remaining items out of my uncle’s house, then helped me find a place of my own.
I have good parents.

I’d like to nominate the following people:
Neil K Singh, for his tremendous generosity of spirit, both in his backyard, and internationally.

Deepa, for her perpetually upbeat attitude and attempts to brighten my darker six-word story themes.

Bob Goddard, for supporting my writing by critiquing, brainstorming, cheering, and offering to become my copy-editor.