Friday, March 7, 2014

Liberation and The Walls of the Mind









My husband and I have been diligently working away at planning (and paying) for a huge getaway this Spring. We will, of course, be taking our kids. My mother, my stepdad, my brother-in-law (I only have one these days) and my eldest sister will be joining us as well (she's been the major planner in all of this, in fact). We've planned for a house sitter and a pet sitter and so on. It has taken two years to bring this to fruition and we are not quite there yet... still just over a month to go. And where are we going? Well, we are heading to the Turks and Caicos islands via cruise ship. That's pretty grande, is it not? Beyond that, we are taking extensive detours through the United States once we get back to shore about 8 days later, at the port of Miami. So, sunny skies, good weather, new people, new places, and new experiences are all on the menu for us and our family very soon. I would be lying if I said I was excited. I am not... not yet. Why? Well, I have realized the thing about me is I have little faith sometimes. I can plan, and indeed have been planning, for this to the point that it has become more or less perfunctory. It's become mechanical. Money that comes in is filtered right back out to this "plan" and I've realized I don't believe plans actually work. I don't have patience. I don't have faith. It's a terrible thing to realize, you know.

I have thought about this... I can only recall one not-so-fine day in the summertime when I was about 10 or 11 years old. We had planned a beach day at the nearest lake (which was about an hour and a half drive away) and the car was literally plugged full of floaties, towels, food, sand pails, extra clothing. You name it, we packed it. All ready for the big day. I was so very excited. I was so very very excited because I loved water. I loved to swim. I loved that sleepy haze you get around the time the sun sets and you curl up in your biggest, fluffiest blanket while your hair flies around your sun-kissed face. Every muscle in your body is so blissfully tired from all that swimming and tumbling in the depths of the waters. I loved it all and more often than not, a trip to the beach represented the pinnacle of any summer vacation. So, on this particular day, when we were packed and ready to go, I was fairly bursting for joy. And then? The clouds rolled in. A cool breeze sprung up and whirled around my legs. I looked up. The sun was blotted out by dark clouds. And then? My mom said and did the worst thing she ever could. She said our trip was cancelled. Oh! Heartbreak why must you lash me so at such a tender age as this? Why must my hopes be so utterly dashed? Damn you clouds. Damn you, rain! Damn you cold cold breeze. It was over. And then? She said something I have never forgotten. She said there was no use in making a plan. Plans never ever work out. And we had planned the hell out of this trip to the lake and it didn't work out. At all. She was right. And I built a wall inside my mind. I built something to shield me from disappointment that surely stemmed from this event and many others very similar. What started as a shield eventually morphed into some kind of psychological jail, I think. Freedom separated from the fear of disappointment, I suppose. Whatever you call it, it's a bitter thing.

So here I sit at 36 years of age... so very close to 40 and perhaps what they call midlife? And I am still that little girl who is afraid to plan, afraid to hope, afraid of disappointment! Even though this is not the first time I have traveled, it still seems so new. The depth of my fear is surely a reflection of the depth of my excitement, which I won't allow myself to feel. At all. In fact, I've tried to cancel this trip once already. Why? Why am I so dreadfully afraid it won't work out? I think it is because I want it so badly and God knows that often, in my life, when I want something badly, it moves farther and farther away and I have to kiss the dream good-bye. Or so it has seemed from time to time. But, there is a part of me that feels that line of thought is merely mellow-dramatic bullshit. It's time to tear down the wall. A girl has got to get on with things, doesn't she? 


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