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Most of my 5th grade summer was spent camping in Ojai (Pronounced: Oh-Hi) CA. It was the last day of fifth grade. I rolled into the driveway on my huffy bike and was met by my mom; who was standing next to the open trunk of our car. “I’ve got all your stuff packed, Tam. We’re going camping!”

Well, ok. I put my bike in the garage and hopped in the backseat. Seat belts weren’t a big deal back then so I sprawled my legs across the seat, breathing a sigh of relief that school was out and summer was all mine! Then it jumped on me. Our cat. Precious. No, it wasn’t precious. That was our cat’s name.

Don’t get me wrong – I loved our cat. But cats don’t camp.

I sat there and thought… How is this cat going to stay at our campsite. More importantly… WHY is the cat going with us?!

We arrive and pitch our tents and I am instantly given the chore. The daily chore of walking Precious.

Seriously. I have to walk our cat. On a leash. At a campsite. On dirt roads.

Up until this camping trip, Precious had never seen a leash. Precious did not approve of the leash. Precious did not respond in a precious way.

She clawed, she screamed. She cemented her paws into the ground.

Picture, if you will, ten year old me leashing up a very angry domesticated cat and forcing it to walk around this campsite.

She would dig her back feet into the dirt ground and I would drag her around the campsite circle. Dust would kick up everywhere. Campers would laugh. Precious would turn into Lucifer. I would begin snot-crying. No one was pleased.

Isn’t this like life? Sometimes we are leashed up, forced to do things we weren’t meant to do. And sometimes we leash up others and force, or expect them, to do things they were meant to do.

@@Manipulated moments will never produce authentic results.@@

We must be ourselves. We were not meant to be leashed and forced into a box we weren’t created to fit in. Own your strengths and don’t allow a leash to shorten your potential.



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