Leaving the Security Blanket of a Safe Life

“Two roads diverged in a wood, and I—
I took the one less traveled by,
And that has made all the difference.”
“The Road Not Taken” by Robert Frost

This post is from the Gypsy Mama Travels series and is part of the co-created Dance, Community & Social Connection Research Project.

Everything seems like a good idea when it is in that state: the idea state.  It is when it emerges out of the idea state into 3D reality  – well that is when you get to see if your ideas were crazy, great or somewhere in between.

As I glance into the mirror through red stained and puffy, tear-stung eyes – feeling the physical impact of all my ideas from the past months take shape in my body…a tiny crack in my seemingly good ideas surfaces.   As the crack cracks in this moment, questions begin to surface in me.  Questions that show me perhaps my ideas were too crazy – and not great.  Questions that I had, until now, been able to not allow into my reality.

Not because I was being resistant, ignoring or pushing them away. Not because they were not perhaps good questions to ask oneself when facing such a major life decision.

But because I knew in my gut these questions were from a place of long ago that had no place in my life now.  From voices that were societal voices, not my own.  Questions that had no place in my life because they came from a place of doubting – instead of trusting my own internal guidance.

Yet, as the idea that had sprung up years ago was now cementing into my reality at this moment, I was tired and worn out from the weeping that had ravaged my heart earlier today.  In this worn out state, those old voices finally, if just for a moment, took opportunity in that crack opening – and gave themselves a voice.

“What the HELL have you done to yourself, to your life?  Are you SURE this was a good idea?  What if this is a HUGE COLLASAL MISTAKE, one that you can never fix or undo or go back on?  What the HELL are you thinking? Is ANYONE really going to support you in this venture?  Probably not.  You are going to have to go crawling back, having lost all your money and security and dignity.  You are a fool.  Who do you think you are for making such a stupid, crazy choice?”

The all-too-familiar anxiety driven knot in my stomach began to spread like black smoke, threatening its ugly presence over the rest of my body.  One that, if allowed to become my reality, would incapacitate me, lying me up in this hotel bed all night without sleep – way past my checkout time the next morning.

At this moment, a moment I know so many of us are familiar with when our world feels like it is literally crashing down around us, I need more than just some fancy, upbeat self-talk.

I need to somehow connect to the core reasons that had led me to choose this path…to this moment I found myself in now, in this lonesome hotel room all by myself.

For I had by far sacrificed much to be here…in order to take the road less traveled.

“So, what had you done?” you ask me, my brave reader.

Well, I had stood up to Death itself.

No, not through some rare or common disease.  Not through some horrific freak accident.

No – my Death defying moment came when I by WILLINGLY choosing to leave the security blanket of a safe life.

Summer, 1983 – Wellsville, Kansas
I’m in the warm grass, looking up at the hot summer sun and puffy white clouds floating by.  I close my eyes and drift away.

This is my escape, and often – drifting off into this world with my eyes closed.   It feels safe and familiar.  In here, I have all the dolls and barbies that I dream of, that I see my friends have but know I cannot.  In here, I have a warm and fuzzy home with my mom..and perhaps even real sisters to play with.  Oh, what it must be like to have real sisters instead of an older brother!

Right now, in my imagination, I am on my bike – with training wheels.  Hey, don’t judge.  I am only 6 years old!

“Maybe this week I might get those off and be a big girl!” I think, pulling me out of my imagination for a moment.

Just as quickly, my imagination pulls me back in and I ask myself, “What if I could pull my wagon on my bike?!?!?”

“And what if my wagon could be like Barbie’s dream house on wheels?  Like Aunt Cindi’s pop-up camper we camped in earlier this summer?!?!”

I drift off deeper into imagining my wagon camper.  My wagon camper would be able to magically house all my belongings in it’s current size, and pop-up whenever I pulled over for the night.  It would have a sink and an oven and a fridge; a bathroom with a tub; a canopy bed and a lovely sitting area for all my friends to come visit me.  Oh, and a POOL.  Because I LOVE to swim!!!

I could feel it now.  This was so exciting and I KNOW this is possible!  I feel the wind of the open road blowing against my face, wisping my hair behind me.  The smell of the hot Kansas summer all around me.  I can see the glow of the fireflies lighting up the night sky as another day says good-bye to me.

I am so happy.  Traveling on my training wheel bike, pulling my magic-Barbie-Dream-House-wagon pulled by.  Oh please, please let me stay here…in this space.  Please, please, please!

To be continued…

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