What a Ride…by Lois Hewitt

I cannot believe that my next blog post will be my 200th!  Wow!  That’s incredible!  A lot has happened between now and then.  The person I was is barely known  to me now.  When I started this epic journey I was a scared, depressed, totally unaware person.  I thought I knew things but I did not really.  I thought myself brave but had no clue until I was tested.  I wanted a new and different life from what I had and I got that wish a few times.  Wow! What a ride it has been!

It is an odd phenomenon that the place you occupy right now seems like the place you have always been.  At least for me anyway.  When I was in that “dark” place I felt there would never be a change.  That what I was experiencing was going to last forever. For a long time, I just stood on the proverbial diving board.  Then I realized standing on the board does nothing until you actually leap into the water. And leap I did.

Fear used to consume my life.  I was so aggravated with myself for not making the changes I needed to make.  Once it was decided to leave behind everything and start completely new, it was like jumping into a pool of ice water.  All the plans I had made ahead of time, flew out the window.  I was unprepared for the realization of what it all meant.  No more home to run to. No more things to have.  What if I got Ill on the road? What if the car breaks down?  Those issues evoked real fear!  Now it wasn’t some ethereal concept in my head but an extreme possibility.

I did not know where I was going to land or how I would live.  I thought I could waitress my way across America.  That might have worked in the 70s but not today.  I found I was living in a way based on a whole lot of unrealistic ideals.  I thought I was being free when in reality, I still had bills to pay and gas to buy and needed a place to sleep among other things.

Then I met North Carolina.  She made me work to get to know her.  Crossing the mountains to get to her was about the last straw.  I was not sure my car could make the trip or, for that matter, if I was up to the task.  After a dark and rainy night of mountain roads, we met.  It was definitely not love at first sight. But her presence grew on me.  Because of her I have been able to shake many of my existing fears off.

The veil finally lifted and I saw a new life.  The struggle, as they say, was real but I found out I was not alone.   I tried new things and learned about people and places I had never even dreamed about.   I had adventures I could not have even imagined. Working on a real train…how lucky was I!  Traveling to work everyday to a castle…how lucky am I!  Mountains and beauty available from every vantage point!

Things are not perfect, but oh how they have changed, oh how I have changed.  As I look back on the last few years I can hardly believe all that has happened.  But I would be remiss if I did not thank all of you who supported my incredibly insane dream.  I could not have done it without you and I still look to you all for moral support today,  My husband does not get mentioned much in this blog as I try to respect his privacy but I could never have taken the first step out the front door without him.  He is my rock!  Thank you to the Land of the Pines, for letting me make this place my home.

That scared, shy girl may be gone now, but because of her I was prepared to make this journey.  I am really hard on her but all of her experiences, good and bad, gave me the strength I did not know existed inside of me.  I have learned so much.  The greatest lesson I have learned is to never discount who you are.  You have no idea what your life experiences will show you in the future.  Some days are harder than others, hang in there.  Life gets pretty good once you allow yourself to open up to the unimaginable possibilities!

Thank you all for your love and support!  I honestly could not have done this without you!  Here’s to another 200 posts!

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