Switching Speed Boats


I like to use analogies to help me make sense of the world and of my own behaviour. The perfect analogy starts with a little image, a short-hand symbol to simplify a complex concept.

The way I explain my ever changing moods, the mercurial madness of my mind is that I’m forever switching speed boats.

Let me set the scene. Imagine that we are on some kind of narrow waterway. For some reason I’m thinking of a Louisiana Bayou, an alligator river in Florida or somewhere in Cancun. It’s definitely on the American continent in my imagination.

There are speed boats zooming along. Sometimes side by side, maybe three abreast. Sometimes the speed boat is all alone – just out in the wilderness. Speed boats speed up and slow down. Passengers are enjoying themselves on the speed boat, dancing around with cans of beer and big hats. Waving to each other from their boats. Sometimes pulling up right up beside each other so people can change speed boats. Two speedboats can be right next to each other one minute, and then in the blink of an eye, one has zoomed off.

The speed boats represent my state of mind. I’m forever switching speed boats. It can become exhausting and maddening and of course exhilarating at times. Sometimes I might be puttering along in my old, beat up tinny. Dropping a fishing line off the side and cruising through the river of life. Then I switch speed boats and I’m off like a rocket through the white water. When the speed boats are travelling abreast, I’m at one with the people around me – we’re having a speed boat party! We can chat to each other from our boats. And then I switch speed boats. Speed up. Slow down. Zoom ahead. Fall behind. Sometimes I become unreachable in my speed boat. I don’t know how to drive the damn thing. Maybe the goal of life is to get my speed boat licence?


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