How do you eat an elephant?

Most people would say one bite at a time. The truth is, I have the elephant right here in front of me–in fact, I have created the elephant from its’ trunk to its’ tail–but there’s just no eating it. No matter how close I get, it’s not happening, so instead, I need a new metaphor.

What I want to do is befriend the elephant. There is a push and pull where I know I have no choice BECAUSE of course I do have a choice and I would never in a million years allow myself to choose the option to quit, so I WILL finish this thesis…sorry, ahem…befriend this elephant. But a new problem arises, where do I start?

For the last few months (or probably if I was honest, half a year?), I have dallied and danced around it, giving it bells and whistles, showing how pretty it looks and how genius its structure is, but without content, this elephant is only a fantasy. The problem is, that I need to finish this thesis to get on with my life because as long as it’s just a fantasy, my career is in limbo, and I remain a poor student, limping from part-time contract to part-time contract with nothing to show for all those hours NOT writing. What gets me up in the morning is knowing that I have created the outline of a beautiful creature, but as it started moving, growing and took on a life of its’ own, I became afraid of it. I am afraid of its’ potential and mine.

Dara Kelly

Dara is from the Leq’á:mel First Nation. She is a Post-Doctoral Research Fellow at the Peter B Gustavson School of Business and a PhD Candidate from the Department of Management and International Business at The University of Auckland Business School (UABS). Dara’s doctoral research explores Coast Salish gathering economy of affection in BC, Canada. Her research focuses on Indigenous philosophies of economy, freedom, unfreedom, wealth and reciprocity. Dara is also an alumnus of the First Nations and Indigenous Studies Program in the Faculty of Arts at UBC where she completed her BA and is currently a researcher with the Mira Szászy Research Centre for Māori and Pacific Economic Development at the UABS.

2 comments

  1. Reminds me of the very famous quote by Nelson Mandela;

    “Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us.”

    Great blog, love it!

    Like

  2. Thank you for helping me address the elephant in my room too! I love this post and identify with it very personally. I love the idea of owning an elephant. Showing the Indian, Thai, Burmese and other elephant lovers my elephant. Even taking a ride on my elephant to the places where no other could go without an elephant. But growing that elephant from a baby to an adult, caring for it daily, feeding it positive thoughts backed by the latest research on what nutrition it should have, training it to look and sound like a good elephant, washing it and its environment clean of all the excrement that gets accumulated in its day to day existence, keeping it trained when it wants to do its own thing… run off in tangents… act all wild and out of control, compare itself to other elephants, and worst of all deny its an elephant worthy of any thing at all when through out its life it has always had the potential to be amazing. Guess it’s up to me to be the best mahout I can be….as the elephant just needs to be itself!

    Like

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