Pixy Stix and Nickels

by Robyn Justo — Mom told me that when I was a baby, she would come in my room and find me in my crib on all fours apparently sleep-hopping, saying “I’m a bunny, I’m a bunny.”  

A few years later, she told me that she would find me sitting alone “in a daze,” staring into space.  
And when someone asked me what I wanted when I grew up and I said, “Peace of mind.”  Odd for a kid, huh? Maybe dazed, but never confused.  

I think I was six years old when the teacher asked our class to write a paragraph about a nickel. I wrote three pages which ended up on the bulletin board. I should have known that I might have had a penchant for the pen way back when or maybe it was the Pixy Stix and PEZ straight-up sugar rush, but I was so inspired!

My nickel was happily inhabiting a cash register and when the clerk was making change, he (mine was a boy nickel) fell on the floor and rolled out the door to an adventurous life, finally realizing what he was missing. He met another nickel (who just happened to be female) and they had five baby pennies. The story ended with them all getting scooped back up again and put in a drawer.

Point being is that we know. We know who we are (and maybe even our higher purpose) quite early in the game. Then something happens. We are told to find a career and support ourselves. Instead of finding our bliss and inspiration, we find a job that pays us money that pays our bills that we incur from buying “the right” groceries and things that we are told will make us prettier, more desirable, happy and blissful.  Hmmm. Was there a shortcut missed in there somewhere? Becoming adulterated is overrated.

I loved the stars when I was little. They inspired me and made me feel bigger. The immeasurable distance between them fascinated me. I could see and feel infinity above.  

But I grew up and although my height  increased so I was a few feet closer to those stars, somehow I began to feel smaller as life closed in around me.  

As the years flew by, the care and feeding of this thing called me became more complicated. Foods (the fun ones like Pixie Stix) became taboo. I wasn’t getting any closer to my stars, and the only things getting higher were my cholesterol and sugar levels. I found myself revisiting that dazed state of being except now I was confused.

Restrictions were vehemently shared by enthusiastic doctors. One diet called for no sugar (including fruit) and very low carbs (including grains). Another prohibited fats and meat, but encouraged grains and fruit which I couldn’t have according to list number one.   

Another suggested high protein (meats included) but most meats made cholesterol go up and my spiritual practice diet suggested vegetarianism which was beginning to look like the most reasonable option due to the fact that about the only thing on my “ok” list of foods was looking like lettuce. (“I’m a bunny, I’m a bunny.”) I must have known was what coming.

Maybe what I should do is find a place that sells Pixy Stix and go crazy writing about nickels. It worked for me before, like staring at the stars did, along with sitting in a peaceful altered state and freaking out my Mom. We know what we need, or at least we used to.  

We need to explore and rediscover what we have been missing before being scooped up and put in a drawer.  

That’s just my five cents, for what it is worth.  

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