I’ve been running through a packing check list of everything I’m going to need tomorrow for my four days in The Windy City.
Tickets, ID, credit cards, cash and wallet? CHECK.
Clothing that conceals and works with postpartum baby gut and boobage fairly well? CHECK.
Accessories and shoes? CHECK.
Medications, compression stockings, and all things necessary for sucky medical conditions? CHECK.
Laptop, camera, cell phone and chargers for all of the above? CHECK.
Here is the thing.
I am extroverted as all get out. I am very loud, you can hear my laugh across the room and just looking at me you would never, ever guess that I have a ton of social anxiety. Like the kind that compels me to run and hide in a bathroom stall because I am avoiding a big ass ballroom full of 1,000 bloggers.
I sweat, shake, my mind reels and often I am so self-conscious it’s a bit ridiculous.
If I have ONE person, just ONE that I know or feel comfortable with it is so much better, but until that happens, when I walk into a room full of people by myself, I have to find things to hang on to to make me BRAVE! SURE! CONFIDENT!
Or if none of those feelings of confidence happen I am usually just thrilled if I talk to someone I don’t know. Even if it’s something like, “Oh, HAI! I am so sorry that I just tripped on NOTHING and dove headlong into you as you were taking a drink out of the drinking fountain!!! I will totally pay for your chipped tooth and dry cleaning!” (I’m also a bit clumsy. Just so you know.)
Don’t get me wrong, I am NO wuss.
In fact, I often do things that I am terrified of just to prove to myself that I am capable of doing them. Like that time I went skydiving. I hit two birds with that one. I am terrified of heights and flying.
(Memo-if I die in a fiery plane crash going or coming to this thing feel REALLY bad for me. It’s numero uno on the list of “WAYS I REALLY DO NOT WANT TO DIE, THANKS” list. Oh, and also for the record, if I DO die in a fiery plane crash I would like to request black veils and armbands at my funeral. And plenty of keening. And NO ONE is to say, “Loralee wouldn’t want us to be sad today”. BULLSHIT on THAT. I’m DEAD. I mean, I don’t necessarily want anyone to drive off of a cliff out of despair, but I really think that the perspective of a lifetime without me on the earth is sufficent enough suckitude to allow for an hour or two of snotting. In fact, it should be a damn snotfest. Complete with heartwrenching video with photos accompanied by totally cheesy music. Just don’t make it the Celine Dion song from “The Titanic”, please? Otherwise I may have to turn up and haunt all your asses and really? I kinda want an afterlife that is a bit more peaceful than that. Also, if there could be copious amounts of food and great sex after death that would be groovy as well. And pajamas and comfy pillows, please. I also wonder if I can take my boobs with me. That would be awesome. We can skip the Rock Tit, though. Because that? Is not so awesome and man, can it come up at the MOST inconvenient times. So heaven should just be devoid of ALL rock tit! Because everyone should have perfect boobs in heaven, right? Well…this is assuming that I will actually BE in heaven. I suppose that is assuming a hell of a lot. PUN TOTALLY INTENDED. Anyway, I am not sure I am a “Heaven” type person. I may very well be roasting S’mores in the big fiery pit of hell and elbow rubbing with Bealzabub and my Kindergarten teacher Mrs. Thomas. Man, she was a total bitch and a half. I also think she probably drank a little. I am fairly certain she is probably in the flames,though. Anyone who could keep a sick 5-year-old in from recess for coloring outside of the lines ON THEIR BIRTHDAY and YELL at them for throwing up on their desk EVEN THOUGH THEY WERE TOLD IT WAS A POSSIBILITY and then make them talk to Norm the creepy janitor as he cleans up the vomit and sticks them in the hall for TWO HOURS to wait for their mom to come after school let out deserves a place in hell, IMO. So it’s safe to say that I really don’t want to go to hell. In fact, dying in general should just totally be stricken from the To Do list. M’kay?? Thanks and Kisses n’ stuff!!!!)
Um…what the hell was I talking about?????
OH, yes. Courage and how on earth I am going to get some for this trip.
Well, that is fairly simple, actually.
I’ll just look at my hands.
My hands aren’t attractive. I never have a manicure and they are DAMN big for a female. It’s what is ON my hands that is important.
Two pieces of jewelry that I am rarely without and are some of my most treasured possessions.
It may sound silly but I am very tangible and both those rings help me more than I can say.
My wedding ring. It’s is obvious why I love it, it’s my wedding ring. Sure, it’s big and flashy but I had a simple gold band for 8 years before my husband got this for me for my birthday the year after we separated. It was a sign of re-commitment and has come to a tangible reminder that I can survive the worst, the VERY WORST things in life. I often just wear the band but my hand doesn’t feel right without my wedding ring. It reminds me of my husband: solid, sure, capable, and secure.
I love it because it honestly wasn’t always this way. Jon and I are better than we ever have been and looking it it reminds me that he CHOSE me. That is a big deal. I’d been thrown away and he stepped in and took on me and my baggage at all of 22 years of age. Not something for the faint of heart. Just remembering all that we have been through and that I came close to losing everything in my life, including it, usually illustrates that whatever frightening thing I am facing can’t TOUCH most of the things I have already waded through.
It’s much less flashy. In fact, it’s just a very simple copper ring that tends to turn my finger black from time to time. I think it is as beautiful as my tank of a wedding ring, just in a different way. For many, many reasons that are too damn long to go into, it represents a lot of courage, love, friendship, trials, endurance and strength.
I got it right before BlogHer last year and it was my touch stone. I found myself fiddling with it and looking at it during stressful times and it helped me focus and remember other triumphs and sweetness I have had in my life.
I’m lucky to have both of them. Both represent that I am LOVED. Supported. Capable and that I can be strong.
That I can do this.
I may not have the most courage in the world at the moment, but I have faith I will when the time comes. Even if I lost both rings, the memories, feelings and joy that they represent will ALWAYS be mine and will ALWAYS be with me.
They will ALWAYS help me.
Because of that? Even flying on a plane or in a big ass ballroom full of 1,000 people in Chicago, I will have courage.