Have you ever wanted so badly to do something, but were afraid?
The pesky what if’s running rampant in your mind. Making you physically ill, trembling badly and wanting only to turn and run. But when and if you do, then the anger and regrets take the place of all those what if’s. I know.
Ever since I joined the local Jeep group, Just Jeepin’ for a Cause, one of the things I have wanted so badly to do, was be part of a Jeep convoy. I wanted to be a part of the fun. Driving along the roadways, people staring at all the various Jeeps and their decals identifying them proudly. But when it came right down to it, if my son wasn’t driving, I didn’t go.
I have called myself the coward of the country several times over that, but I simply was not able to make myself go. My son would get very upset with me. He knew how badly I wanted to take part, but also how afraid I was. My son has no hesitation in asking me “Paranoid much??” Just a little/lot. If my mind ran out of actual possibilities, it would make some up. I also don’t really like going alone. Oh once I get there I’m fine, happy as can be and having a grand old time. Its just making myself go.
I know, that we aren’t given a spirit of fear and that we should not be afraid. But there are times, when I am. Like when I go somewhere for the very first time and have to find the place. Or trying to take part in a Jeep run when I haven’t done it before. Common sense tells me that there is no reason to be afraid. Common sense tells me that everything would be fine. Common sense tells me that I’m being ridiculous in my fears. That little devil of doubt talks louder and a really good game. Tonight though, prayer got me through.
Today was our local Relay for Life event. The Jeep group were meeting at a location less than a mile from the event and then parading in to where we were parking. My son had to work and it was no telling when he would get off and be home. If I was going, this was all up to me.
I got ready. Then I tried to find my travel mug. I found the mug, but not the top to it. I got another that I filled with coffee. I grabbed a few water bottles and tossed them in the cooler that I carried when I used to work. Gathering up the rest of what I needed, I brought the dogs inside, made sure the cat was inside but not in my son’s room as he fears her knocking off his television when he isn’t there. Then I started for my Jeep. I stopped to think and make sure I had everything. I took a few more steps forward. Telling myself, its only driving, like in traffic. I can drive in traffic, I can drive with the other Jeeps. Then I made a deal with myself. I’d go to the meeting place, and then decide. I got there and parked behind the others. Out of sight, I can slip away, or just let them drive on and not notice I wasn’t in line. Only the husband of one of the founders saw me and waved me into line. Here we go y’all. Here we go.
As I followed I’m talking. I hope no one gets hold of my dash cam before it films over that. I managed to follow the leaders as we made our way to our designated parking spot. Once I was parked for the duration, I got out ready to do a happy dance of celebration. I had done it. I don’t care if it was (and it was) a very short run. If it was a mile I’d be surprised. But baby steps.
The biggest accomplishment being that I did it. I went, I drove, I did it. I also realized somewhere along the way, that I had forgotten to put my chairs back in the Jeep. It was going to either be stand up, or call my son and ask him to bring the chairs.
I really, really wanted to be there. If you follow my blogs, you know that today was my brother’s birthday. Only he’s celebrating in Heaven. I had to be there for his memory. I found the luminaria bags that were dedicated to him. There were none for me, but I didn’t really expect there to be any.
The event was a little different this year. It was the first time in this location and the first time after Covid. There were precautions taken, a lot of space between tents. The track was long, but no longer than tracks we have walked before. There was all the opening ceremonies and speeches including the National anthem. When they did the survivor lap, it was a shortened lap where I was drafted to help carry the banner. I didn’t mind, I did see later where I was the tallest one in the group which I found funny. After that was a caregiver lap and then the Relay was officially under way.
The good things were that I met new people and I saw long time friends. I had missed them. We talked, we caught up, we laughed and we even hugged. My son did finally show up with my chair, he really didn’t feel up to staying. He had worked hard all day and just wanted to go home and crash. He did speak to a mutual friend for a while before he headed for home. Due to the possibility of storms, they ended the event a little early. They didn’t want to put anyone at risk. We made a final lap and watched as other cleaned up the luminaria bags. I should have helped, but for some reason, I didn’t. Oh I know, I was talking with that mutual friend and hanging out until they ran us out.
She lead me out of the college and through an industrial park that I didn’t even know was there. When we got to the end of it, we parted ways. She headed for her house and I was headed for mine. I did still have to make it through town. You would think that as late as it was getting to be, that traffic wouldn’t be that bad. It was. I had a mid size SUV riding in the lane beside me-the lane I needed-through town. I was in a lane that ended up as a right turn only and I really didn’t want to do that. I managed to get in front of the SUV and made my way on toward home. Only there was a vehicle, that looked seriously familiar that followed me all the way to where I turned off onto our dirt road. They drove on thankfully.
I’m sitting here now, nearing exhaustion, but oh so happy. As silly as it sounds,to take the chance and do this on my own, is a really big deal for me. My main issue, is in the getting there. Once there I do okay, it is simply screwing up the courage to get in the Jeep and go. Often, I am, to my knowledge, one of the few single people there. Most everyone else, has someone with them. Whether it is partner, children, friends, someone. Unless my son is with me, its me. And I am uncomfortable showing up, just me. Tonight, I did it. Tonight, I took that first step forward. tonight, I’m not sitting here kicking myself over missed fun with great people. What may sound silly to some, was a big deal for me, and tonight I did it. I may still do that celebration dance yet.