Tin Man

Mine is a story
Not many people know
It’s a story that can’t be told
Or ever shown on screen
It’s a story that can’t be written
Until someone sets me free

The day I fell in love
I learned what happiness was
She was a little munchkin maid
And I was a feller of trees

I had lost my parents
As many men do
I needed a new reason to live
And she was the only one for me

I planned to make a life for us
I wanted the very best things
She asked me to build a house for us
And I went to work that same day

My betrothed lived with an old hag
Who scorned me bitterly
Since I would take her servant away
She asked a witch to get rid of me
A powerful witch indeed

The witch watched me through woods
She knew my trade too well
She devised a hellish demise for me
And bewitched my woodsman’s axe

The axe felt different in my hands
At first I didn’t know why
Then the blade turned on me
And cut my left leg clean

The blood, oh blood flowed freely
My life was all but gone
But the thought of love pulled me back
And I found someone who could help

He was a tinsmith and he had an idea
He fixed a new leg for me
I got back to work but didn’t know
The witched continued to watch me

My leg worked fine and my grip was sure
I continued with my work
But in a moment the blade turned once more
And cut my right leg clean

The scream, oh my scream echoed out
I couldn’t believe my eyes
For I knew this was no accident
And someone wanted me to die

I found my tinsmith friend again
He fixed a new leg for me
I went back to work but before I finished
The axe cut my left arm clean

The pain, oh the pain deep and searing
And more blood than before
My heart was nearly drained dry
But the tinsmith saved me once more

The tin arm was stronger
The grip was firmer
I worked faster than before
But the axe wasn’t finished with me
And it cut my right arm clean

The misery, the woe of losing every limb
I thought there could be nothing worse
But the munchkin girl still loved me
Despite the witch’s curse

The witch knew this and did not relent
Oh no she would never quit
But I wouldn’t stop till my work was done
So she made the axe take my head

My head, my head I thought I was dead
But my heart kept on ticking
I could feel my guardian near me then
And the tinsmith saved me once again

Legs, arms, and a head made of tin
What could the witch do to me then?
Even she puzzled at my transformation
But then she knew what it would take
To kill my determination

The enchanted blade turned toward my chest
And drove itself right through me
It broke my body in two parts
And dashed my heart to bits

I watched the tinsmith through my tin eyes
As he made a new torso for me
My friend and hero saved me again
But he neglected to replace the most important part

My heart, oh my heart
The most important part
Instead there was emptiness
And my love was long forgotten

The witched rejoiced
And claimed her prize from the hag
My maiden waited patiently
And never heard from me again

No love, no joy
Just work work work
No house, no ring
Just chop chop chop

I stood in the woods
Shining in the sun
Admiring my brightness
Thinking “No one can hurt me!”

As long as I remembered to oil my joints
I could work all day and all night
But one day I forgot and was caught in a storm
Now I’m frozen in place like a sundial

By my calculations I’ve been here for a year
Staring at the bark of this tree
Thinking of what could have been
My axe is raised high toward a sky
That forgot I ever existed

I’m frozen in the grove
Stuck as if in sap
Standing like a statue
Invisible to the passerby
With only trees for company
But even they are freer than me
For they’re allowed to fall and die
No such privilege is afforded to one such as I

Last night I dreamed of a girl in gingham blue
Flying to my land in a small farm house
She landed right on top of that cursed witch
And followed a path of yellow bricks

She heard my cry in the woods
And ran for my oil can
She freed me from my statue stance
And took me to a magic man
Who granted me a heart

The dream was so real it awoke my joy
It stirred my soul and I would have cried
If I could just remember where tears came from
And had a heart to pump them through my eyes

How I miss my heart
And my true happiness
Now I wait for the girl
In the blue gingham dress


Fall of Fearlessness

I’m looking at the cover of a test prep book on my desk. All kinds of fear-laden thoughts are going through my head. “What if I don’t find time to study? What if I can’t understand the material? What if I bomb the test?” Preparation for this test is only the tiniest preliminary step toward my second attempt to begin an application for an MBA program. Even the thought of starting this process makes my insecurity meter rise a few notches. What will it be like when I am done with the test and I have to begin prerequisite coursework?

Sometimes I look at the list of prerequisites I need to take for the MBA program I have my eye on. There are scary words on this list like “economics,” “law,” “accounting,” and “finance.” There is a reason I avoided these courses like the plague when I was an undergraduate. I never wanted anything to do with them! My ultimate motive for facing these seven prerequisite courses is to progress in the business world. If I can knock out these fundamental business courses then I can begin an MBA. If I can begin an MBA then I might be able to complete an MBA. If I complete an MBA then I might have a bright future ahead of me. That doesn’t sound too tough, right?

At this point in my quest for an MBA I am trying to figure out if I can complete all seven prereqs by August 2013. Each course carries a hefty three credits and I’ve been warned that some of them are pretty difficult. (People may have actually used the words “rough,” “terrible,” and “killer” now that I think of it.) I work full-time and I would have no problem knocking out two or three courses in the next 10 months. But seven? Seven… seven… seven… Did I ever mention that seven is my unlucky number?

Let’s be optimistic for a sec and pretend that I will complete all seven courses in time (go me!) and I am going to start this part-time 2-year MBA program in September 2013. What happens then? Financially I’ll still be in good shape because I’ll be able to continue working full-time and I’ll be reimbursed for each course I successfully complete. I’ll have money to stay afloat but will I be able to stay afloat socially? Will I ever see my friends again? Aside from my social life I have a slew of extracurricular activities that currently keep me busy: running, violin, watercolor, and volleyball to name a few. Which one(s) will I have to give up? There is also my one true love: travel. Will I ever be able to go on vacation or will I have to use up all of my vacation days so I can catch up on homework? I really don’t know. I guess I didn’t stay optimistic for too long there, did I?

I think the whole “not knowing” thing (along with my excessive use of quotation marks) is really getting to me. I don’t know how I’m going to perform on this admission test. I don’t know if I’ll complete the prereqs as fast as I would like to. I don’t know what my academic, social, physical, musical, artistic or athletic standing will be next fall. There is no way to know.

My goal this season is to get a grip on my fear of the unknown. What will I absorb from this 346-page test prep book on my desk? I don’t know. However this lack of omniscience doesn’t mean I have to feel anxious. The thought of sacrificing personal time doesn’t have to send me down a whirlpool of despair. I want to set goals that will push me toward a better life. Right now my life rocks but with the right tweak in my career path I could be floating on clouds. At that point I could work on getting a more rational fear like acrophobia. Now we’re getting somewhere!

Instead of striving to control and predict every variable in my life I will focus of moving onward and upward. If for some reason this plan doesn’t work out I’m sure I’ll still pick up valuable knowledge and experience along the way. (Isn’t that always the case?) I’m starting this path knowing it might be “rough,” “terrible,” and “killer.” I just also hope it will be long and rewarding.