I'm a bit tardy today. Since early last week I've been driving all over the East Coast, USA. I needed to visit my family for the holidays and the Thanksgiving celebration was being held in Atlanta this year. So I had the bright idea to drive - alone - with two kids.
Yeah. I had an even more stellar idea to drive the entire way from Maryland in one go. During a rain storm. Uhm hmm. Everything you're thinking and more and that is when this trip changed my life.
For the last few months I've been down and anxious about my life. If I say Murphy's Law was alive, it lived in my house, ate my food and followed me to work. I was feeling really beaten down. I wasn't writing and frankly I was anticipating giving up my writing. Because of something unexpected, I needed to get a second job and my day was already crammed to the brim.
So needless to say my mind was in a depressed and anxious state during the drive. Things that wouldn't have bothered me were making me nervous on the road. My body was tense, I was hyper alert and frankly I drove a bit under the speed limit, turning an eleven hour trip into a thirteen hour trip. I won't even speak about the bridges, which I was afraid of before this trip. (I grew up in a place with many bridges so this fear was always completely ridiculous.)
My trip wasn't over. After Thanksgiving dinner, I still had another five hour drive to my parent's house. In the dark. Here I must pause for a long sigh. The memory of this drive might forever haunt me, if it weren't for something that happened close to the end of it. I said a little prayer and I calmed completely down. I released my anxiety and just drove. My mantra was simply, "You're fine."
I realized this mantra would help me in my rapidly crumbling life. I hadn't created many of the problems I'm now facing in my personal life, but I will get through them. It may take a few bridges, menacing big rigs, and bad weather, but I will come out on the other side just fine. I will write again, just a bit more slowly to accommodate my new more ridiculous schedule.
Right now, I write to you from the hotel where I wisely stopped on my return trip. The drive yesterday was much easier and I had little to no anxiety. When I did I used my mantra. I have a couple hundred more miles to traverse today, but I'm feeling pretty good. I have my mantra and a new perspective.
I won't be making a drive this long ever again, but apparently I needed this one. What started as one of the most foolish decisions of my life, has turned into one of the most eye opening.
I hope your holidays are as emotionally fruitful.