Monday, November 7, 2011

Deal with it

The other night was the scariest night I have had in my whole life. We went for a drive outside of Valencia to explore the surrounding towns. While driving we saw a castle brightly light on top of a hill. Adventure called and we answered.
Of course from the highway the route looked clear, but once we got close the high-rise apartments blocked our view and we got very turned around. Finally we found a sign for the castle and we began to follow it.   Our little Toyota Aurius took us steadily up the mountain twisting and turning with the curves in the road. We came to what appeared to be a fork, and because we saw the castle to our left we ventured on a tiny road that lead that way. This was torture for me, the turning and climbing kept increasing my anxiety, at one point we went over a hill and I couldn't see the other side and I began to freak out. Then the worst thing, the street stopped, at a cliff! It just ended cliff all around and only the tiniest space to try and turn around.
I completely fell apart. I have a horrible fear of driving in high places, I feel like we are going to fall off the edge. So when I say I went to pieces I did. Just writing this is making me shaky. We were stuck on the side of the mountain the wind was blowing and I fell apart. I was crying uncontrollably and Teddy was trying to calm me down. Thank you God none of my boys share my fear. They were all calm. In the middle of my hysteria I realized I had come to a head with my fear And there was absolutely nothing I could do but deal with it.

I made all of the boys get out of the car and let Teddy ever so slowly turn the car around. That was another nightmare. I prayed harder than I ever have and even mustered up the courage to turn around and look. I thought quickly that I might have to pull that car back up the cliff if he went too far. I told the boys to back up and I inched toward the car preparing to be super human if my husband's life depended on it.
Of course he was fine and turned around without a problem. I put the children back into the car. Another wave of fear shook me, we had to go down that mountain. I prayed even more down on my knees, cried more, and realized I had to get in the car. Teddy crept down the mountain for my sake and I calmed down. 

24 hrs later I'm digesting it all and coming to some realizations. I realize I was the only person afraid for our lives. It really puts the idea of perspective under the microscope. To me the situation looked very different than it did to everyone else. They couldn't really even comprehend what I was experiencing. Teddy was sympathetic yes, but that's different. We each, try as we may, will never be able to truly walk in another person’s shoes. 

Travelling has taken me so far out of my comfort zone, both in ways I expected and in ways I would have never imagined. In the US the road we took would have been blocked off and or rails would have been all along the side of it. When you are away from home at any age you have to monitor yourself; determine how far is too far what's safe and what's over the edge. All on your own without signs or direction, you have to determine which road to take.
Being in Europe has me feeling like I'm growing up all over again. Working on my language skills, adjusting to cultural norms, exploring my environment, finding community, and seeing if and where I fit in. This whole adventure has been about enjoying the road less traveled and yet I find myself constantly asking, “who says this road is better?” A road having a lot of travelers is not necessarily a bad thing. At this point I'm feeling like the two roads are simply different. I liked my life in Boston and I like my life here. There are thing I don't like about both places and ways I live that I don't like at times, but I think that's the key. It's not really about which road you take in life but more about how you travel.
I can sit sip and enjoy My life wherever I am if I choose to.


  1. Wow! What a crazy experience. My heart rate picked up just reading this and imagining being near that cliff on a windy night. Good for you for coming to terms and eventually facing your fear. Proud of you!

  2. oh my goodness, just heard about this, and had to read about it, too! I can empathize with this, it brings back memories from when I was a kid... but the difference was there was water on one side of a very narrow one lane road... and no cliff. Yikes! Glad you all had what can now be a safe and memorable adventure! :)