Thursday, October 28, 2010

The Long and Winding Road

Very few people, even those who know me well, understand the amount of anxiety I have typically lived with. The anxiety has reduced greatly over the years but there has always been a lingering amount that held the potential in any moment to rob me of quality of life and joy. In my mentor's work, I am a plane type. According to Spotted Eagle, Plane types suffer from severe abandonment issues. We believe, even if it is unconscious, that we were dropped off in a dangerous, unfair place. Truth is, even though I am not a dogmatic believer in anything, I fit this type all too well. Even though I have no set idea about whether there is a god or not or where everything came from, I can see the ripple effect of this existential decision in my life.

Going to California really was a way for me to face many of my own fears. I got to stare one of my prevailing fears in the face almost as soon as I arrived in San Francisco. Before my recent trip, I had never driven in a large metro area, let alone in a rental car. I did all the usual things, got my luggage, went to the rental car counter, and then proceeded to the rental car pick-up area. While I was waiting a black car came toward me, I felt an instantaneous, "that is my car and I do not want it." It was a very strong feeling. The rental car agent came to escort me to my car and the unease grew. I looked for a reason why I was feeling uneasy. Was it the out of state plates? The color? In the end although I could not explain why, I told the rental car agent I was not comfortable with this car and was willing to wait for another.

She took me to another car. None of the uneasiness was there. I put in my stuff, checked out and was on my way.

While at the rental car I added a GPS to my rental. It was one of the smartest things I could have done. Plug in an address and the GPS shows you and tells you exactly what to do. Upon leaving the parking garage I set out on the streets of South San Francisco and immediately made my first wrong turn. I was very glad to have the GPS because it recalculated in about 10 seconds, giving me a new route. I learned very quickly that the GPS was only helpful if I chose to listen and listen I did. The GPS had a small screen with a network of computer generated roads and a little car where you happened to be. I began to look at it like a computer game, one I wanted to win.

I proceeded through the city of San Francisco, driving over streets with names like "Beach" and "Eucalyptus". All of a sudden I found myself on the Golden Gate Bridge. Although I had printed directions before I left home, I had not looked at them. Driving over the bridge was spectacular. Having it be a surprise was awesome.

Soon, I was on smaller roads heading towards Northern California. The road was empty and the drive beautiful. Then the road began to wind back and forth like a canyon road here in Utah. I could feel my anxiety rising. Quickly, my brain offered up an alternative to being afraid, fun. I pretended the road was my own personal roller coaster. I concentrated on driving it well, paying close attention to where my car was on the road, and then had a hell of a time. By the time I arrived in Philo, where my hotel was, I had to pee really bad but had a sense of huge accomplishment, like the biggest part of the reason I came was to take that drive.

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