(Originally written May 24, 2017)
Traffic has got to be the worst time for anyone with an overactive internal reality. Sitting there in a car among hundreds and hundreds of cars emitting waves of heat into the air, monotone and blah, leaves the mind way too much time and space to push on cracks and fissures ignored the rest of the day.
Currently my commute consists of 19 miles each way which, when combined with regular stop lights, erratic drivers, and overall general congestion of an ever increasing population, usually equates to about 1 – 1.5 hours of my day.
Way too much time to sit alone with my brain and no way to vent it out in a productive way.
Until my recent and entirely unexpected reality shift, which brought about a) the desire to be a SAH working mom and b) accepting the blessing-curse that is my calling, compulsion, and overall being, I filled the space and time with listening to talk radio or music, depending on what type of touch I needed with the collective conscious.
Of course, that all changed last Wednesday.
Now my drives to and fro consist of an entirely different type of gymnastics. I run the course of a practical, business minded, revenue driving strategic mindset to an emotional, irrational, someone kicked the hive in my chest cyclone.
The worst of the latter is self-doubt. Self-doubt is water slowly undercutting dirt and sand which makes the road base of my thoughts.
Driving along at top speed, everything is looking clear as my wheels of creativity and intellect are humming on smooth asphalt when…
I’m in a sink hole 6 feet deep.
The sudden halt in speed gives my awareness whiplash as the wet heavy blanket of panic tightens around my chest.
Creativity has ground to a halt as self-doubt finds its voice.
You have nothing to say. What makes you think you can do it? You are delusional. You will never be more than average, and average does not pay the bills.
I yank myself in front of my psyche’s mirror and say, knock that pathetic shit off. Self-doubt has always been here, and it’s never stopped the journey before. Just drive around.
You were driving on someone else’s map following a road you didn’t create.
My brain is lit with words and possibilities. My reality is so altered there is no going back. I have a taste of fulfillment with happiness.
Possibilities don’t put food on the table, clothing on your baby’s back, or heat the house in the middle of winter. Happiness does not get traded on Wall Street.
And so goes the internal fight, until something yanks me out of my mind, reminds me reality does exist beyond my brain, and my resolve is further hardened.
This morning was one of those mornings. I felt I was opening my eyes into a sand storm with everything grating roughly on my senses. We were able to get dressed and going decently smooth enough, mostly because my daughter is a very sweet and caring child who can read when mommy is about at her break point.
Yet both of us were on the verge of an emotional Vesuvius.
The drive was filled with too bright of sunlight, and when we pulled up her school had a slightly vacant air with art projects and window ads having been taken down. Certainly no human is super awesome at change they didn’t create, and I am no different.
My tone was a little more harsh than it needed to be when Vivian accidentally broke my makeup compact she was using as a phone. In the short 5 seconds it took me to come around to her side of the car, she was crying hysterically at my meanness.
I don’t even wear makeup.
I calm her down, I apologize, I kiss her head and the tears stop. For now. Until we get inside. The rooms look empty, the windows are bare, she is resistant to me leaving.
I give her my standard five minutes of count down cuddle time that usually helps my little one adjust, and we are slightly perked up and ready to sit for cereal. And not let go of my hand.
I kiss, I hug, I remind her I always come back.
I pull my hand away as a teacher moves in to cuddle. As I leave I hear my baby girl scream her mommy-something-is-really-hurting sobs, and I can barely see where I am walking.
To this self-doubt can’t compete. My resolve at changing our reality has grown and hardened into Zeus in my mind, ready to strike down anything that impedes my pathway forward.
Even if I am broken and bleeding, I will claw myself out of self-doubt’s sink hole before I give in.
There will be days when the road is rough, full of sink holes and washboard ruts. Just as there will be days when the asphalt is newly paved, the sun is shining, and I am the only one on the road.
The difference between those who succeed and those who don’t is who can inch forward when the road is rough, the car is broken, and each breath is completed in a waterboard of panic.
I will succeed.