Every so often I have one of those moments likened to an out of body experience, where I’m watching myself do something incredibly stupid, all the while thinking to myself ‘Morgan, that’s a bad idea,’ while still doing it anyway.
Ever so often that particular moment ends in quite a bit of pain; be it literal physical pain or emotional distress, quite often accompanied by the thought, ‘Morgan, you’re an idiot.’
Let’s talk about the time I almost lost my right thumb. You know the important one. The one that I absolutely must have for just about every moment in life (you will never truly appreciate the importance of your right thumb until you almost lose it.) Okay, I’m definitely being overly dramatic, but it did hurt something awful. Onward.
One peaceful summer night, working a red-eye home from Maui, I and my lovely crew were discussing our eating habits and healthy snacks we could or should bring on our trips. Ever inspired by their suggestions I decided that upon arrival, I’d head straight to the store and get some fresh veggies and new knives and peelers and all the other cool kitchen gadgets I would need to begin my healthy snack packing regimen. Upon landing, I decided to postpone my nap and headed straight to Walmart (yes, Walmart. It’s actually an okay place at 8 in the morning).
I returned home just an hour later armed and ready with my razor sharp goodies and bags of fresh veggies.
Being the first time actually slicing bell peppers with something other than a rather dull steak knife (I know, I know.), I chose to read the directions located on all of my new slicers and peelers. Package after package advised and cautioned me to be careful of the sharp edges of the blades, the mandolin even had a nice little plastic film over its blade echoing the same warning, adding that I must never slice fruits or vegetables without the included hand guard.
I carefully washed all of the new tools and rinsed the pesticides from my veggies (because who am I kidding, I still eat Taco Bell, there’s no way I’m taking the time to look for all organic veggies) and I was ready to go!
The first pepper didn’t go so well. I tried slicing quickly, then a little more firmly, maybe slow this time. Each slice ended up jagged and uneven, if I could even cut through the thing at all. That darn hand guard just wouldn’t allow me to get a good grip. I tried my sweet potatoes next. Maybe some nice thinly sliced sweet potato chips would be in the near future.
Nope. I could barely get the potato to slide across the blade. This darn hand guard was standing between me and my healthy snacks.
It must have been the delirium of having worked a red eye and braving the aisles of Walmart without my morning nap that gave me the bright idea, that perhaps, just maybe the warning labels were just overly cautious, a way to negate liability if someone accidentally cut themselves. It wasn’t guaranteed that I would hurt myself if I didn’t use the guard; it was just a precaution, right?
Nope. One quick slice proved me undoubtedly wrong.
I’ll spare you the details, but I will say my next few hours did not include a nap or any homemade sweet potato chips.
With half a roll of paper towels scotch taped around my thumb and the advice of my dear friend Sarah, I made my way to the Urgent Care.
After being laughed at by two assistants, I was seen by the doctor who would tell me my fate. Fortunately enough, I could keep my thumb; unfortunately, it would take quite a bit of time to heal. I’d sliced clear through the side of it and the poor sliver of flesh was hanging on for dear life. Doc gave me two options: I could keep it bandaged up for a few days until the sad sliver of flesh shriveled up and died, which would then begin true healing process; or I could get a few stitches, which would keep the sad sliver of flesh in place until it shriveled up and died, which would then begin the true healing process.
At that moment I learned one of the most valuable lessons I ever needed. Throughout life you’ll do dumb things, or make poor decisions, or even good decisions, that will yield painful outcomes; yet no matter which way you choose to go about correcting or dealing with said outcome, the process to heal will be the same. There will be times when a part of you will just have to shrivel up and fall away before you can fully heal or move on, whether you choose the stitches or not.