I lead a small existence. I have home, immediate family, and a few friends I connect with on the regular. It’s what I’m used to and what I most enjoy. Heck, I fill the bulk of my days talking to voices in my head. You can’t get much smaller than living inside your head!
We went on vacation about a month ago. We drove to Quebec, Canada, which, depending upon where you live, is either a big deal or a little deal. For me, it was a big deal, having to drive half-way across the country (from south to north, so maybe not such a big deal as I make it sound, but yeah. Fiction. It’s what I do.)
But for the first time in my life, I had a panic attack. Okay, I’m not sure it was a full-blown panic attack, so I don’t want to minimize the trauma suffered by people who have full-on panic attacks. But if anything is going to induce a panic attack, I would say the traffic around New York/New Jersey along the turnpike, is probably up there with panic attack-inducing events.
I’m a pretty cautious person. I drive the speed limit or a mile or two under… unless it’s raining, and then I’m 5-10 mph under the speed limit. (Yes, I am that old woman.) I’m comfortable doing that. I drive in heavy traffic if I must. But since that event driving through NY/NJ, I’ve been a nut job. Or maybe I’m just noticing it more now, having experienced it once. I sit in the passenger seat, clenching the door handle, sucking air through my teeth when someone cuts in front of us in what I would deem an unsafe maneuver, and I have even said the choice word or two. (Okay, for both of my kids, their first swear words came out while in heavy traffic. One was in her little car seat. She asked me if, indeed, that car that had just cut dangerously close in front of me was an “ass-ho’”. The other child, while playing with MatchBox cars with his father, looked up at him angrily and said, “Daddy, you bein’ a ‘ass-ho’.” Note: don’t cut my kids off in traffic. They’re adults now and have a richer vocabulary and they’re not afraid to use it.)
Okay, so I’m a nut job who has panic attacks in heavy traffic and I was a terrible parent of toddlers.
All this just to say, we just drove through the D.C. Metro area on our way to Ocean City Maryland, the busiest, touristy, peoplest place on the east coast, and that is why I’m blogging from a little Microtel, in the dark, recovering from yesterday’s trauma. Not sure it’s worth it for a three day weekend away, but the company that awaits us in Ocean City is worth it. Proof that I’d cross hell and back for you. See ya soon!