Have You Ever Felt Like a Baby Iguana?

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The Distraction I Needed, When I Needed it Most

It was my seventh week on St. John when I saw the baby iguana. He could have been born the day I arrived, but most likely after. One thing was clear; this little guy was new to the world. 

Curiosity, when peaked, is a great feeling. Seeing something (or someone) new for the first time can be rousing.

At the time, I was sick, and had been for nearly a week. I vomited daily and slept like shit. All I thought about was how awful I felt.

My mindset became my mind trap.

That is, until: “Look! Shiny object!”

Right Place, Right Time

The iguana caught my eye as he ran across the outdoor deck. He was a green – a brilliant hue of green – unlike any iguana I’ve ever seen.

Instantly, nothing else mattered. My mind was entirely focused on the iguana.

He was moving fast! I didn’t expect to get close to him, much less get pictures. I thought for sure he’d be gone in a flash.

Lucky for me, he fucked up. Lucky for him, I’m not an asshole. 

Photo credit: Travis Garrod

Welcome to the World Vivarium, Little One!

He couldn’t have known what was about to happen. Like fish jumping out of the water and and into a net – whatever he was chasing led him straight into a trap.

He was caught between two doors and could only see the world from behind a screen.

Photo credit: Travis Garrod

He was so busy looking one direction, he didn’t notice the solution was right behind him. All he had to do was turn around and walk away. Easier said than done, apparently.

Now Iguana Have Some Fun With You

He was easy to manipulate in such confined space. From inside the house, I made him look larger than life – as most people do, with themselves, from the comfort of their keyboards. But, he wasn’t a troll. He was more like Godzilla!

Photo credit: Travis Garrod

Help Those in Need

Never tell an iguana that he looks like Godzilla. I don’t know why, but he didn’t find it funny. Obviously, he was stuck in a rut and didn’t know what to do. On the inside, he wasn’t as bright. He lost the spunk he had when he first caught my eye.

He looked bored, anxious, and wanted to be free.

He had no friends on this side of the screen. There was nowhere to run on this side of the screen. His side of the screen had limits. He was held back on this side of the screen. Basically, he was trapped, alone, and unable to physically navigate his world. He could only watch everything happen, whatever it was, from his little space.

It was time for him to go.

Photo credit: Travis Garrod

I had to help this little guy out of his fresh hell and get back to life – without scaring or harming him. That meant, no hands near the iguana. He was frightened by hands.

I Know You Can Do It

The iguana wasn’t coming out of the space on his own so a friend and I tried to help. We detached the screen, then flipped it. He was no longer on the inside looking out; he was outside looking in.

Immediately, he looked brighter, healthier, and more hopeful than ever. He didn’t move. He just sat there, staring at the world over his shoulder.

Photo credit: Travis Garrod

Freedom’s Just Another Word for Nothing Left to Lose

Barriers are restricting and remind us of what we can potentially accomplish. That is, if you don’t succumb to a spiral.

It took time, but the iguana grew tired of sitting still and staring at a screen. Eventually, he looked away from the filtered world and hopped onto the deck.

Photo credit: Travis Garrod

He landed on his feet, stood still for a minute, and analyzed his situation.

Now on the deck, he could see the house, and wanted to get as far away as possible – as quickly as possible.

When freedom’s at risk, there’s no time to waste.

Iguana Break Free!

When the iguana turned around, my heart sank. There was nothing I could do as he launched himself off the porch.

The ground was 25-feet below deck.

The thing about the real world is this. Shit gets real. Sometimes, too real. Isolating yourself is one hell of a way to find out what that means.

The iguana had a rough morning that day, but don’t worry about him. I have good news.

He landed on his feet, stood still for a minute, and analyzed his situation.

He was free to explore his natural environment. Hell, he was free to do whatever his heart desired. With that, the iguana disappeared into the forest.

He Survived

I noticed I felt human again. I didn’t feel nauseous. In fact, I felt better than I had in days.

The Iguana Gave Me the Green Light

At that point, his my journey truly began.

I spent 21 more days on St. John – on my feet.

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6 thoughts on “Have You Ever Felt Like a Baby Iguana?”

    1. Thank you Kathy! It’s a change from what I normally do. I thought the iguana experience was so cool, I wanted to somehow wind a parallels from online life to real life – AND share the pics. A screen! DUH! 😉 As if it were staring me right in the face! ~Travis

  1. Life and situations are a microcosm of a macrocosm. The baby iguana was a reflection of you in a sense.

    Loved it.

    Beautiful pictures too!!!!

    Thanks Travis for your insight.

    1. Thank you, Georgia! I loved taking those pictures of that little guy. However, the baby iguana is not only me… 😉 ~Travis

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