Would it Kill Me?

I’m sitting here in my vehicle at lunchtime, nomming on chunk light tuna straight from the pouch, thinking about what people must think when they walk past my car and see me eating plain tuna. Heck, last year I brought the can opener with me and I ate it straight out of the can after draining it out on the ground. I wonder if any of them feel that tuna is inedible without the mayonnaise or other dressing that people normally prepare tuna with, as though it’s akin to eating raw hamburger or something; and I mentally prepare my response to the hypothetical rage onslaught: would it kill you to eat plain tuna?

That’s when I realized the perfect utility of the question. Would it kill you to do X? Like, what’s holding you back?

I have a friend in South Carolina who published a novel and then took a 444-mile journey along one of the oldest trails in the country. Fifteen miles, five hours a day. For a month. Two weeks later, she’s still getting blisters, but she’s got a lot to show for it, inside and out.

I happen to know of a lady who travels the world in a sailboat; one day, she just resigned her job and went after her dream. Most recently she writes about waiting to leave Hawaii for New Zealand after a two and a half month stay.

Sometimes I wonder if it could be so easy for everyone — and sometimes I wonder if I even know what would be better than working a dead-end manufacturing job that grinds the life out of me and all of my co-workers. As in, what is my dream?

Am I even qualified to ask that question?

Would it kill me to try and answer it?

Would it kill me to take a plunge?

I think it’s a heck of a lot easier than people give it credit for to do something they’re reluctant to do, but as Amelia Earhart said “the most difficult thing is the decision to act, the rest is merely tenacity. The fears are paper tigers. You can do anything you decide to do. You can act to change and control your life; and the procedure, the process, is its own reward.”

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  1. Nothing will kill you, Rob, more than not knowing what might have been. I have my moments of fear and despair, and I may fail spectacularly in the end. But that’s what I get for eating tuna plain, straight out of the can. I like it that way, too.

  2. would it kill you to eat plain tuna?

    It wouldn’t kill you, but if you eat too much of it, plain or otherwise, you can get sick. One of my aunts ate nothing but tuna for a while and got mercury poisoning as a result.

  3. I used to eat it plain out of a tin with triscuits on the side. Yum! Also,a few weeks ago, I sat in my car in the Market in Ottawa gnawing on a smoked chicken leg, holding it in its plastic wrapper. I was that hungry. I also thought up responses to the passers by…
    As for living your dream, I wish I could, but I always wonder where the funds come for that kind of thing. Any ideas?

  4. We’ve just set off on our dream http://www.thurmanovich.com/on-your-doorstep-blog/2014/3/29/minibattical-were-nearly-on-the-move. We’re two weeks in and wondering why we waited so long. We’ve let our house and moved into a tent to bring expenses down and plan to make a living from our photography. We can always supplement our income with casual work in the beginning, if necessary. We spent the last year making outings, testing our capacity for pain: camping in the worst snow in decades, in the worst rain in decades, in gale force winds and in the English summer. We survived well. It’s worth everything not to be sitting behind a desk 10 hours a day, and sitting on a train for another 3!

    Sometimes you have to close one door before another can open.

    Oh, and is there any other way to eat tuna?

    • As regards the fish, I grew up thinking the solution was mixing it with Miracle Whip, dill pickle relish, and minced boiled egg to create a tuna salad, and then it was edible. Then as a young adult I discovered the joys of albacore straight from the can, and like coffee, I learned to enjoy the darker stuff neat as well. So my short answer is: if I have my way, that’s the only way I need to eat it. πŸ™‚

      In addition to the comment I left at the linked post, I have to say I commend you for braving the elements and living out of a tent — these are marks of the true adventurer, and I would love to see the work it enables in the future. Thanks for the lovely comment!

  5. Hmmm …. hmmmm …straight tuna – no adornments – absolutely. Sometimes the dressings and additives are just overkill.

    As for why not — just “do it” to rip off Nike for the moment.

    Well, it depends on what one’s “reality” and obligations are, yes? Commitments to family, primarily I would think. But maybe the “key” is knowing that even the small things – like – I don’t know – something that brings you well and truly out of your comfort zone – like say, writing a chapbook or whatever and giving a reading at the local cafe/free-verse whatever night etc. – could be the start of something that fans the flames of the burning desire – dreams?

    I don’t know – just thinking out loud.
    All I know for sure is that sometimes it just isn’t possible to “chuck the whole thing” but that something smaller can provoke a landslide of change.

    • That’s what I’m looking for, are the realistic small changes I can snowball, in order to keep from being committed for being crazy. I know I can write for a living, especially in this day and age. But as for what holds me back, you got it in one. Gotta pay the bills, and the girls gotta eat.

      • Yup — that’s exactly the point – the responsibilities – but as you’ve noted – it’s the small steps – and I guess the *difficult* part is recognizing what’s a viable potential, then making the decision, which involves re-prioritizing (which isn’t necessarily bad) and finally, the great balancing act —- and then – getting it all done!

        Would you mind if perhaps we met in the “common room” at the crazy house for a chat and a cup of joe? πŸ˜‰

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