Tuesday, January 13, 2015

Let’s Go Crazy

Let’s Go Crazy

Sometimes, we act on impulse: it could be something as small as ordering that special dessert on the menu, maybe asking out that cute boy or girl, or as large quitting your job and selling everything you own to become a shepherd in New Zealand. What’s the most crazy, outrageously impulsive thing you’ve ever done? If you’ve never succumbed to temptation, dream a little. If you gave yourself permission to go a little crazy, what would you do?

Today’s writing prompt from The Daily Post at WordPress

When recalling a crazy, impulsive thing I have done, what comes to mind are a couple of adventures:

I volunteered to walk with other survivors in a homecoming parade for Lance Armstrong in Austin in 2004.  I was living in Brenham (between Houston and Austin) and answered the call for survivors to walk in the parade.  I took off a day from work and booked a hotel right along the parade route.  Went to my hairdresser; she gave my hair a French Braid and interlaced yellow coloring in the braids.  Ha!

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View from the parade route

I remember thinking to myself, “Is this totally irresponsible to take off work on short notice for this?  Is it silly to spend money on a hotel for this?”  I was a home-based medical transcriptionist at the time and did not get vacation days.  Yes, I could take off time with no problem; I just would not get paid if I was not working.  Well, I did and it was an absolute hoot.  With my hotel so close, I could walk to all the festivities and, man, were there festivities.  Following the parade, Congress Street and that entire section of downtown Austin was one huge block party that went on into the wee hours of the following morning.  I don’t even remember what time it was when I wandered back to my room.  The Steve Miller Band performed; I remember thinking, “Wow, these guys look old!”  Haha!  Of  course, this was long before all the controversy surrounding Lance, but at the time it was a very awesome experience and I would not have missed it for the world. 

The other impulsive thing also involves the Lance Armstrong Foundation (now called LiveStrong).  In 2005, they were calling for volunteers to attend LiveStrong Day on Capitol Hill in Washington, DC.  Summoning up my courage and fueled by the need to give back as a survivor, I volunteered with no real expectation of being chosen.  Well, you guessed it.  Before long, I was receiving travel arrangements and hotel information. 

Yikes!  What had I done?  This meant I would have to fly to DC from Austin.  By. My. Self.  Alone.  Oh.  My.  God.

You see, I am a bit of a . . . well, not a wussie or “chicken” but somewhat of a timid soul at times. 

Agreeing to make this solo trip – a flying trip, no less – was a huge deal to wee me.  Impulsive.  Crazy.  Yet meant to be.

Underneath that timid surface, at the core of my Being is a Warrior, a kick-butt Sarah Connor (out of the Terminator films) strong Woman. 

As a cancer survivor, there is the drive to give back to others.  I had also been a volunteer for the LAF at various functions and had received support and encouragement directly and indirectly from them.  I felt I “owed” for all the inspiration and lifting up of my spirit during my dark days.

By this time, too, Dave and I were “together,” (in fact, we were engaged – how that came about is a story for another time) even if we were separated by the Atlantic Ocean.  When I told him I would be in DC for a few days, he decided to come over from Scotland and share the Washington time with me.  Having never been to DC before, I planned to go up a couple of days early, rent a bike and explore the Mall and other DC highlights.  Our flight schedules were so we would meet for the very first time at the airport. 

The flight to DC was made easier to bear because I was headed to meet Dave.  Although my flight arrived shortly before his, he would be there.  I was going to be with him.

Amazing the strength Love will give us, eh?

So I summoned up my inner Sarah Connor persona and got on the plane.

awwwwww!

We had a couple of free days before my meetings started and, of course, our evenings together.  We were now “formally” engaged, with the ring Dave brought from Scotland on my finger!

Those few short days flew by, but memories and scenes from that magical time will be with me forever.  I’m not talking just about “our” time but the time spent with LAF personnel, my brothers and sisters in survivorship, the training we received as survivor advocates and meetings with lawmakers on Capitol Hill to discuss issues of cancer survivorship.

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Of course, the time came for Dave to return to Scotland and me to Texas.  We did, however, now have plans in place to go forward with our new life.  There was the flight home – alone again – to be endured.

The plane was not full and I had the row of seats to myself.  I finished up some LAF paperwork as the plane made its way towards Austin.  When that was done and as we flew into a thunderstorm and turbulence, I snuggled up with the small stuff sheep Dave had given me and . . .

. . . I fell asleep.

Egads.  I slept through the “bumps in the road” at high altitude, through the lightning and lashing rain.  I freakin’ slept and awoke as we neared Austin, feeling refreshed.  That hasn’t happened since, not even when returning to Scotland on those long transatlantic flights.

Were both of these experiences impulsive decisions?  Yes, in my book, but with purpose. 

Hmmm . . . guess when I do something impulsive it’s not sometime like buying a new pair of shoes, but an adventure! 

My life is a bit more routine these days, with fewer major events such as the above, and that’s fine.  I do, however, at times look back on my life and think, “Wow.  I’ve done some stuff, ya know it?”

When was there a time you acted on impulse and “went crazy?”

“Among the Indians there have been no written laws.  Customs handed down from generation to generation have been the only laws to guide them.  Every one might act different from what was considered right, did he choose to do so, but such acts would bring upon him the censure of the Nation . . . This fear of the Nation’s censure acted as a mighty band, binding all in one social, honorable compact.”

- George Copway, Ojibway chief, 1818-1863

365 Days of Walking the Red Road

Thanks for stopping by!

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I am a Warrior

1 comment:

  1. Really wonderful stories in response to a great prompt but I think the best one may be getting engaged to a man you had never met. Not exactly impulsive but a step out of the box for sure. Good call!!

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