Change your (Pre)position in Life: Live with fear, not in it

A tale of two wedding one real, one hipster;

Much like Odysseus on his Arcadian quest, I’ve become a cosmic pinball. The past two months I’ve been bouncing back ‘n forth across the Oregon-Cali-Nevada lines; hitting mountains towns, bumping across sea-sands, and rolling ’round lake-side rims. How exactly do I get around? It’s not by way of aircraft or pixie dust. Nope, I drive. If you know me then you know this is a colossal, “sayyyy whatttt!? Who? You?? Nooo.” You see, for awhile I’ve been wanting to explore the US of Ayyyye, but I am confounded by a mental crossroads.

Making sure no one else gets my kicks for me at Convict Lake, CA

Like John Denver I agree I’d be a poorer woman if I never saw an eagle fly, buuuut unlike the Eagles I don’t enjoy life in the fast lane when I’m behind the wheel. In fact, driving gets my nerves more frayed than a worn out pair of cutoffs. As one flower to another, I considered asking Mrs. Daisy if her driver was for hire for the rest of my days.

It is no secret I decided to roam thousands of miles away from home, on my own, spending most of eight months in nations with a local language unknown to my ear. Because of these facts some people believe I have no fear. Ha! I Am adventurous? Yes. Brave? I guess. Crazy? Maybe. But fearless? No. In the last three months I’ve been pushing my fears (and speed*) to the limit. According to Taylor Swift achieving fearlessness is a simple matter of finding someone to dance in the rain in your best dress with. It will probably come as no surprise my best friends and I have been known to kick our shoes off in the bar and go dancing out in the parking lot during a summer thunderstorm. (Although we typically wear track shorts and tee shirts.) Furthermore, being someone who has the same hair as Taylor Swift circa 2008, I know all about the horrors of frizz. However, call me Kanye because unless your dress is made of metal I disagree with the decade’s reigning pop queen.

True fearlessness is seldom achieved. I am certainly not fearless, and more importantly I don’t want to be.

Fear is a great reminder, “I’m alive.”

The friends and fam jam were (probably still are) concerned I was going to stay in Eurasia forever. Believe me, I had my choice of directions in which to run off into the sunset. My favorite spot is located approximately 17,000,000 paces and a ferry boat ride due east of North Carolina, over the isle of Koh Tao, Thailand. Like day to night, Semisonic said it best, “every new beginning comes from some other beginning’s end.” My time abroad came to a close because someone put a ring on it. The “it” being my cousin’s left ring finger. I may wear eleven rings between eight fingers, but my only current engagement is with the great outdoors.

June 24, 2017 had been a date to remember in my family since fall of 2015. This was when my cousin got engaged. The engagement was a bit long because in my family you have to book your wedding date at least a year in advance. On a scale of 1 to baby goat, I’m mildly kidding. The cousin 2k17 wedding had been on the calendar since the cousin 2k16 wedding, which had been on the calendar since the cousin 2k15 wedding and believe it or not the 2k18 cousin wedding slot is already taken. The wind may blow me any which way over the next year, but on August 11th my feet will be planted on Chicago soil.

Last October I had no clue as to the who, where, or what I would do after June 24th. Waitress in Austin, TX with a hedgehog? Fitness instructor in Florida with a garden snake? The only real game plan: don’t get board. As Cupid would have it my Mom’s cousin aka Mr. “I don’t think I will ever get married but a bachelor party seems like fun,” surprised us by getting engaged. The wedding was set for July 2017 in Washington not D.C. With a rapid firing of my over-used impulse neurons I decided, “I will drive from NC to Chicago to Washington, kick it around the west coast until December, and eventually drive home for Christmas.” Boom, mystery solved.

But wait! June 2016 I listed reasons why I was better equipped to travel the world than the US. Coming in at number 3: driving is not at the top of my special skills list, or the middle… or the bottom. I don’t particularly enjoy driving. In fact, I generally drive with a paralyzing feeling I’m going to be killed in a car accident. So embarking on a solo, cross country road trip was obviously the most logical choice… I realize it’s appropriate people mistakenly think my name is short for Margarita because you often have to take my logic with a grain of salt.

So what changed? Nothing. My heart palpitates like a jackrabbit three espresso shots deep with every 18 wheeler I pass. Driving in rain all but washes my sanity away. I may take (on the world) like a woman, but I break like a little girl. I chalk up my unease to the fact that I’ve been in three car accidents. The first: rear ended, friend’s car totaled, and I had to get part of my head stapled back together which left a neat scar that sometimes tingles. (I know what y’all are thinking and yes, Harry Potter is loosely based on my life.) The sequel: screech, boom, déjà vu rear ended again, this time I was in the driver seat. Stopped at a red light part III: rear ended, I’m driving, my car totaled, missed our dinner reservation but still made it to prom. Needless to say, it’s been of a bumpy road, but hey I’m no therapist who knows why I’m afraid of driving… *sarcastic ellipsis*

I am constantly sending my nerves into a dizzying tizzy as I stretch the bands of my comfort zone step by step, mile by mile. Why? Because you know what else hasn’t changed? My urge to go out, explore, learn, see, do, broaden my horizons, ramble from sea to shining see for myself. I had been wanting to “explore my own backyard” and there was no time like the present.

Guess which side I choose to look to? Reno, NV

During college California became my great white whale. As my eyes traversed through lagoons of literature, the names of California towns waved across pages. This created a storm surge of desire to explore the golden state. California is an oddball’s Motherland, the ultimate epicenter of exploration, a wanderlust hub for vagrants of any day’s age. I hate driving and my sense of direction is a constant stream of misconnections, yet I was gung-ho to drive clear across the nation. I didn’t have a Thelma to ride shotgun to my Louise, but I why let that stop me? I figured, “hell I have two hands, I’ll drive with the right and shoot with my left.” Kidding! I’m a righty… Kidding again, I promise the only type of road rage I have is a singalong when the radio plays Rage Against the Machine.

So how am I faring so far?

  • Day one of the solo voyage started with technical difficulties. In other ground-breaking, Earth-shattering news; water is wet and the sky is blue. My mom volunteered to join me for the NC to Chicago leg of the journey. While in the Windy City my airbag light came indicating I had no airbag capability, thus my reign as the Queen of Irony continued. The light went off the next day, but I still had the car checked out. Thankfully I got the a-okay and went on my way.
  •  I have only almost ran out of gas only once. It just so happened while I was driving through the expansive grasslands of South Dakota with nothing but dirt and distant rocks as far as the eye could see. So glad my brother didn’t remind me of The Hills Have Eyes before I left home, oh wait…
  • Lastly, about two weeks ago, what I though was my oil light came on. After 48 hours of being fully self-convinced I needed an oil change ASAP, I discovered it was just the windshield wiper fluid light. Still haven’t wiped “fill fluid” off the to do list but ehh the rainy season is upon us.

Alright, we have reached the point where I might have generated some concern so I’ve got a bit of comic relief for y’all:

Five days after the June wedding I received a text from my mom, “had a message on the answering machine from my Aunt saying there is a minor change with the wedding. Finally talked to her on the phone. The minor change? The wedding has been postponed for about a year.” If that is a minor change, I’m not sure what would consititude a major change. We still gathered in Washington and had a splendid unwedding, engagement celebration. So it seems I get my less than firm grip on reality from my mom side, but my spelling skills from my dad.

Yet we each managed to figure out the word bee-four getting hung, too peas in a pod we r.

Recently a friend said to me, “you’re a perfect example of how someone can take complete control of their reality by believing it into existence, regardless of what people consider a normal reality. You did Rita’s reality and didn’t let anything stop you!” I’d never quite realized this, but he’ right. My sense isn’t common and my reality is often south of fiction, but I’ve been getting along more than alright. I don’t want to limit myself during this lifetime or miss out on the chance of lifetime simply because the little voice in my head says, “I don’t like this boss.” Fear is an entirely necessary emotion. It does not mean you are weak or frail. Let it challenge you and spur exponential, internal growth. Let fear be your fuel, not a backseat driver telling you to get off the freeway.
The first step of a journey no matter how small will always feel like a leap of faith. (If the goal is crazy enough that is.) Believe me, trust in yourself and you too can believe a whole new reality into existence. Warning: The feeling of accomplishment after facing your fears may causes a sense of elation so serene you will pinch yourself and say, “this is better than any nightly  dream.

I’ll take a life with a view over a room with a view any day. Castle Lake, Mt. Shasta CA

“It is impossible to live without failing at something, unless you live so cautiously that you might as well not have lived at all, in which case you have failed by default.” J.K. Rowling

If you’re one who likes to stick with a theme, then boy oh boy do I have another fear + impulse decision combo for you. Check it out: Don’t Think Twice, It’s Alright (buy the plane ticket) – That Blonde Vagabond
*okay so I did get one speeding ticket but I was going 76 in a 65 like dang, give a girl a break.

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