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  • Writer's pictureJacob Skorka

I Have an Island (pt. VI - The Storm)

Here, have a beer, and let's wrap up this series about the island.

Side note: isn't it lovely that the sun is staying up later?

Anyway. There is a storm. You have an island; it's truly yours. It can be, look, feel, taste, smell, and accomplish whatever you dream up. It's unique to you and your lived experience, but there are 4 things that can be found on all our islands. There is a box, an animal, a ladder, and a storm, and if you haven't read about it yet, you can catch up here.

Right now, there is a storm. Shit, what do we do?

That's a great follow-up question, actually. Other great follow up questions would be:

How long did the storm last?

What type of damage did the storm cause?

Were you able to restore the island back to its genesis after the storm?

If so, how long did it take?

Did you need help, and did you ask for it?

The storm that comes through your island is just that, a storm. Reflective of storms in your life. Those questions up there 👆 could be reflective of how you approach, handle, cope with, and recover from storms in your life. Storms, in this context, should be seen as synonymous with hardships, heartbreaks, hassles, and hard knocks.

The storm I experienced was a weird combination of a tropical, hurricane-type, that blew the snow from the mountain into a tornado and caused an avalanche that ended in the water. Typically, in my actual life, the storms are a shitstorm caused by many things and coming in from many angles. My wife doesn't get upset because I say something dumb and then the next day everything is awesome. No, no, no. My wife gets upset because I said something dumb, haven't apologized for the last dumb thing I said, haven't even acknowledged that I did something rude 2 weeks ago, all while I'm stressed because I procrastinated something at work and am paying for that, getting punched in the jaw by the world, and putting pressure on myself to be perfect. Again, many things from many angles.

We continue.

The beach was completely covered in snow and the peak of the mountain had a foot of beach sand on it. I guess, in a way, it turned my island upside down. I've been experiencing small glimpses of big storms lately. One thing I have realized is that when I'm in the middle of it, I lose a sense of who I am and am disoriented by the dizziness of trying to find the root and rip it out. I often feel completely out of control, out of order, and out of grit.

They seem to never end.

The storm lasted about 3 days, and, when it finally passed, everything was backward. It was tough to see. In response, everyone who was visiting had to go home and the people who lived there felt the need to go back to where they came from. Knowing it was my island, a lot of people offered help to rebuild what was destroyed, but to no avail. I couldn't tell you why, but it felt like the storm was my fault, so I took it upon myself to rebuild. I put my head down and started shoveling snow -- and dirt. I want to find the cause. I want to find it and take care of it as quickly as I can, but I don't think I even recognize that there is an issue until it's too late and my life is flipped-turned upside down and I'd like to take a minute - just sit, right there - I'll tell you how I became the villain of my own story. Or, at least I think I'm the villain. So, when I realize that this ✨thing✨ is happening it means that it has been happening for a while. Now, not only do I have to assess the current situation, but I also have to retrace to find the cause. That turns each storm into days and days of processing and assessing. Just give me a beer and I'll figure it out. . . eventually.

Because I think it's my fault, I don't want to burden you with helping fix it.

When I could see the light at the end of the tunnel, about a year later, I finally looked up. When I did, I saw everybody who I thought left when the storm happened. They were all there, just chillin', watching me work, ready to drink a beer with me when I was done. When they said I was done, not when I thought I was done. Turns out, a beer is just what I needed. In maybe the most arrogant way possible, I make it my only goal to reconcile and rebuild. To make right and take the blame. To relieve the burden I've already cast on you and do it all myself. I am constantly reminded that I don't have to do it on my own and consistently return to the pattern of fixing, rather than asking. After scurrying my way out of the rubble to accept a beer, I am always welcomed with a sort of snarky smirk and a "you know, you're not alone."

Cheers. Cheers to your island, your box, your animal, your ladder, and your storm.


Ever wonder how your island and the Enneagram are aligned?

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