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. I was so beyond blessed that making sure both Gia and I had as many adventures as possible was always amongst his top priorities.

While traveling with someone is almost always preferable, the times I’ve traveled solo have been some of the most exuberant and healing times of my life. I believe that traveling alone is one of the best forms of self-love, care, confidence, esteem, and “mental wealth” building there is. That doesn’t just apply to leisure travel either, it applies to traveling in life as well. For me, “alone, NOT lonely” is the benchmark of human achievement.

There was a time in the not-so-distant past that I was enmeshed in a twisted, 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. That fucking thing almost 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 running away to France for me to finally begin shedding that God-forsaken suit and realize that what I needed most was to find a way back to ME. I wanted to stay alive, live a REAL life I could be proud of, and be a healthier mom for my kids. Keep in mind that although I wasn’t physically alone on that trip, I was metaphorically alone. Until then, I’d been trapped inside a mental prison where although my body was present, “I” was nowhere to be found. Meanwhile, fast forward to just a handful of rocky months after coming home from France when I was really “all alone” out there on the open road for what ended up being one of the richest experiences 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, 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 my punctuated 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 precious life is much too 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 for someone to go with you … JUST TAKE THE DAMN TRIP! You can do it! IT’S ALLOWED! You’ll never know the true joy and pleasure how it feels to be that fucking brave and connected to yourself unless and until you just do it!

C’est la vie!

Oh, and last thing: This is another song that has earned a third appearance in my Diary. “Ewwe! No way, Cat! Iron Maiden? Really?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}