A few weeks ago, I spoke to my friend Sarah. She is telling me that she is going through a particularly difficult time right now, business is going ok but she is struggling with the new work load and new clients. She feels uncomfortable, it feels overwhelming and also claustrophobic and she’s scared.. but also nothing specifically was wrong?
I smile, because I know this feeling all to well. ‘It’s going to get better. You’re just Lobstering.’
‘What the hell is LOBSTERING?!’
It’s a good question because it sounds like I made this up – but it comes from a very real place.
Firstly, let’s all be clear – I’m not a science /animal person so what you are about to read won’t help you pass a Lobster Anatomy class, but I you won’t probably fail. Also, I’d like to thank Google.
The Lobster (or Crayfish if you will) is one of the most incredible little animals on the planet.
A lobster has two main parts – an exoskeleton thick shell called the Carapace and under that, a whole lot of squishy blobby meat.
Their shell protects them from their environment and other predators and serves its perfect purpose for about 12 months. But once a year, the shell that has protected the lobster for the last year becomes incredibly tight and uncomfortable.
This process of the removal is also painful for the Lobster, and the removal now leaves them exposed and vulnerable.
So for 30 days, the Lobster tucks themselves away in a safe place while they grow and create a new shell for themselves. It’s painful to remove and then painful to create a new one. Cut the Lobster a break, am I right? But after 30 days of work on building the shell, It’s less constricting and is stronger than ever.
But the Lobster had to make a choice. Stay where it is – in immediate safety but also feeling claustrophobic and very uncomfortable or go through vulnerability and a painful situation and come out stronger on the other end?
I think you’re probably catching the metaphor.
Sarah, like most of us – had outgrown her little shell that had served her so well and was in the stage of removing the past – and getting ready to step into her new one.
I’m reminded that right now, we have an amazing 30 days in front of us with a wind down, Christmas and a New Year. 2020, after 67 long fucking months, is coming to an end and we might be able to use this time to look at the shell we have, figure out if it’s serving us and if not – might be worth having some Lobstering time?