DECEMBER 5, 2021: “Just Take The Damn Trip!” …

I have had the extremely good fortune and pleasure of having traveled both completely alone and with Zachariah. As you may or not already know by now, depending on how closely you’ve followed this Diary, I’m was so beyond blessed that making sure both Gia and I had as many “adventures ” as he could possibly make happen for us was always amongst his top priorities.

That being said, while traveling with someone is almost always preferable to me, the times I’ve traveled on my own have been some of the most freeing, exuberant, and “mentally wealthy” moments of my life. I believe that traveling alone one of the best forms of self-love, self-care, self-confidence, and self-esteem enrichment that there is, which doesn’t just apply to leisurely travel by the way – it applies to “traveling in life” as well. The way I see it, “alone, NOT lonely ” is the ultimate benchmark of human survival and achievement. But in true Real Cat style, I have once again digressed …

As some of you may also know by now, again, depending on how closely you’ve been following along here, there was a time in the not-so-distant past that I was sickly and deeply emmeshed in a twisted, entangled, suffocative, and TOXIC familial system wherein “autonomy and freedom” were not only frowned upon, but punished. Those were my “Venom suit days”, and I wore that web of farce on my soul for far too many years to count. That fucking thing almost choked me to death and sent me to an early grave:

“The suit”, however, does to me represent the dark alter ego of Spider-Man. It’s a thick, black, suffocative web of enmeshed and entangled emotions that overtakes and chokes the life out of its host, much like the one I fought so desperately to get the HELL off of me for more than forty years, the one my son still wears, and the one my beautiful husband was wearing as he slipped away into the abyss. “The Greatest Battle Lies Within” and the accompanying “Venom of it all” are so much more than words and comic book movie characters to me.

{“Closer To The Heart ”}

It took my running away to France to finally begin the process of shedding that God-forsaken suit to realize what I needed the most was to find a way back to ME so that not only could I stay alive, but even more importantly, start living a REAL life I could be proud of and become a healthier mom for my kids. Keep in mind that although I wasn’t physically alone on that tri, I metaphorically was. Up until then, I’d been trapped inside a mental prison wherein, although my physical body was present on so many of life’s occasions, myself was nowhere to be found. Meanwhile, fast forward from France to just a handful of rocky months later when I was really “all alone” out there on the open road for what ended up being one of the richest years of my life.

I spent so many days nights alone on out the open road just driving, crying, laughing, talking to myself, and praying to God. I’d stop in as many small towns as I could along the way in the quietest corners of “anywhere but home” and try to find as many quant cafes and stops as I could find so I could where I could just sit with some coffee and listen, observe, and absorb as many “outside my bubble” experiences as I could. That job was one of the best things I’ve ever done, had, or enjoyed, and I swear that I wouldn’t be here right now if not for it.

{“No Reins“}

One of the most stellar men that has ever lived really hit the nail hard when he said:

A man who views the world the same at fifty as he did at twenty has wasted thirty years of his life.

{Muhammad Ali}

With that, if the views of the world that I’ve been wise enough to amass in my many travels thus far have taught me anything whatsoever, it’s that as separated as I was from myself during what I thought were only wasted years, the only person who was ever going to be able put “me and me” back together was ME. Now that I’ve rejoined myself and am embracing the apostrophe of my divinely appointed soul, I refuse to waste a single one of my days left here in this space not living every one my dreams in these hard-earned “Golden Years” of mine. Trust me when I tell you, I’m gonna do, see, and experience all of it, from the abandoned castles to the sleepy seaside towns with the lighthouses calling me through the fog in the distance. Whether I’m on my own, with my children, or with that “one last king” who could be waiting for me out there, this life is short not to take all those trips however I’m meant to take them.

So, with that, I now challenge all of you: If there’s “some place” you’ve been meaning to go in this life, but are perhaps just waiting on someone to go with you … JUST TAKE THE DAMN TRIP! You can do it! IT’S ALLOWED! You’ll never know how it feels to be that fucking brave and connected to yourself unless and until you just do it!

C’est la vie!

Oh, one last thing: YES, this song is another one of those beauties that merited another appearance in my Diary. “Ewwe! No way, Cat! Really? Iron Maiden? THEY’RE A LITTLE BIT WAY TOO MUCH!” Hey, don’t knock ’em ’til you’ve tried ’em. Just listen to the words … they’re as beautiful, well-traveled, and courageous as your soul is beckoning you to be. Few are the songs of my life that can instantly reduce me to the most beautifully cathartic tears as this one. Every time I hear it my heart literally flutters and wants to jump out of my skin – but in a good way. Just sayin’.

WASTED YEARS

From the coast of gold, across the seven seas. I’m travelin’ on far and wide. But now it seems I’m just a stranger to myself, and all the things I sometimes do – it isn’t me but someone else. I close my eyes and I think of home. Another city goes by in the night. Ain’t it funny how it is? You never miss it til’ it’s gone away. And my heart is lying there, and will be ’til my dying day. So, understand! Don’t waste your time always searching for those wasted years. Face up! Make your stand and realize you’re living in the golden years. Too much time on my hands, I got you on my mind. Can’t ease this pain so easily. When you can’t find the words to say, hard to make it through another day, and it makes me wanna cry, and throw my hands up to the sky. So understand! Don’t waste your time always searching for those wasted years. {Iron Maiden}