Imagine, if you will…
It’s 10:15pm and you step outside to quickly water a couple of plants. You’re barefoot, wearing only a tank top and underwear, but you’re not really worried about anyone driving by.
Then the bar across your patio door drops and locks you outside.
Your front door and your car are both locked. Your phone is taunting you a mere yard from you on the now unreachable dining room table. Your neighbors might be home, but it’s late, and thanks to modern technology, the numbers of the three friends with keys to your place are on the inaccessible phone, not in your head. And you don’t relish the idea of knocking on their door wearing so few clothes anyway.
That was me just a few minutes ago.
I had to quickly – and more than that, calmly – assess the situation and decide on a course of action. Panicking didn’t seem to be an option, nor did humiliating myself by calling the police, my landlord or any other solution involving my neighbors.
I considered breaking one of my windows. Doing so safely didn’t seem simple, it would have potentially called more attention to myself, plus there would have been the mess and the time spent fixing it in the morning.
Realizing that too was an unappealing option, I looked at my small, elevated kitchen window. Without hesitating I pulled the screen off and discovered that I had left it unlocked. I was able to move all the plants and other items off the windowsill, clearing a path for myself. Then I somehow, miraculously, hoisted myself up into the window (a good 5+ feet off the ground) using the air conditioner, and pulled myself through and all the way down to the floor using just my hands. I’m surprised that I was able to do it because I don’t have significant upper body strength, nor am I very graceful, and in the past I don’t think I would have even considered myself possible of these gymnastics, much less doing it without breaking my neck (or anything else!) as I lowered myself over the sink.
And then, once I was safely back inside I realized how amazing the whole thing was, because I was able to assess, act and resolve the situation in the span of maybe a minute or so. It seems very simple in hindsight, and really, who wouldn’t do the same thing?
What I realized is that what a friend told me really is true – that by taking The Human Path classes and engaging in other “survival” activities, my mental pathways really have been rewired. What would have distressed me in the past now was nothing more than problem to deal with and solve in a methodical manner. It’s a good feeling to be put into an uncomfortable and complicated situation and be able to deal with it effectively and efficiently, and not let a little physical discomfort or fear of what someone might see or think stop me from doing what needed to be done.
So it was a good learning experience.
It encouraged me to be better prepared for emergencies, including getting locked out of my apartment (like maybe hiding a key somewhere, rather than leaving a window unlocked). It showed me the value of not leaving a bunch of dirty dishes in the sink.
And it taught me to never go outside in my underwear again.