I’ll go ahead and warn you this series of posts will be long, sometimes emotionally charged and thought-provoking, but the end result will be worth it. Maybe.
Friday, September 18, 2015
I’m emotional today, although I contribute that to the expectation that Aunt Flow will be arriving any day now. I tend to get sappy during that time, and the other three weeks of the month I essentially have no feelings whatsoever. Such is life.
I’ve been looking forward to yet dreading this day for a while now. It’s time for Reno. Chris has been gone for over a week so I’m ready to cuddle up in his arms and I’m in need of a serious change of scenery.
There are two things I am dreading which begin to cause an abnormal amount of anxiety within me. For the first time in a while, I start to have what I feel is possibly a panic attack. My chest feels tight, it’s hard to breathe, and I just can’t seem to stop the tears from flowing.
Oh, wait, it’s probably just my damn period.
Either way, I’m not looking forward to the four hour flight to Vegas (and another to Reno) and leaving Hurricane Annadelle behind. I know she’s in good hands, but I always worry. After all, I’m a mom.
My mother-in-law, Dorothy, drives me to the airport after I drop Annadelle off at daycare. We have a long conversation about my “new” writing venture and my goals. I explain my reasoning for wanting to write full time and tell her about all of the research I have done. In essence, I’m pleading my case to her much like I have done to Chris many times. I tell him, “I would be able to spend so much more time with Annadelle,” and, “We could travel with you, and I could post about our experiences there. People read travel blogs, right? And not just that, but think about the endless freelance opportunities for travel articles, reviews, and whatnot!” Hell, I’ve sold myself on it. Surely he’ll come around soon enough.
Dorothy listens intently, like she always does. But more than listening, she reassures me that everything will be okay, in all aspects of life. She’s very faith-based (as in, I’ve never met anyone else stronger in her faith than she is) and she’s a living example of how a true Christian should model their life. She doesn’t come right out and tell me she supports my writing idea, but I sort of get the feeling that she does based on her attitude and comments during our conversation. When we pull up at the Birmingham airport, she hugs me and tells me I will be fine. I believe her.
I make it through check-in and security rather quickly, only now my anxiety is higher than before due to the fact that my new Sperry’s mixed with my range of unsteady emotions caused an unusually smelly foot odor. I know the TSA agent placing my bin on the moving belt can smell it because she quickly removes herself from my vicinity. It’s embarrassing, but I suppose things could be worse. I’m rapidly texting Jessica about how nervous I am about my flight, and being a veteran flyer herself, she helps to calm my nerves. I think about grabbing some spirits, but it’s not even 11:00 am at this point. I decide on cheese fries instead. Yep, fat and grease definitely helps.
I’m a basket case during takeoff, closing my eyes and covering my face hoping that if I don’t think about it that the nightmare will just be over. The couple next to me takes notice and gives me an odd look. The man actually reminds me of the serial killer from Silence of the Lambs, so I spend the next hour or so watching to make sure he doesn’t pull out a large bottle of lotion from his carry on bag. The cannibal paranoia doesn’t help my fear of flying, so I throw my earbuds in and start listening to the Serial podcast that I’ve become completely and utterly obsessed with. If you’ve never listened to a podcast before, I highly recommend this one.
Arriving in Las Vegas, I notice how beautiful the mountains are, although they are very dry. I can’t help but wonder how many dead bodies are lying out there waiting to be discovered (and I just can’t seem to shake this idea the entire trip). There’s a winding road that I’m sure has been lined with the vomit of several travelers, but I tell myself I should make it a point to come back and travel it, even if just to say I had done so. I can see the road down below as the plane descends. It is lined with cars for miles, but I don’t notice any pit stops along the trail. Is this what their daily routine is like? Do they drive along this road staring at nothing but barren desert and mountains? I bet most of them see this as a miserable commute, but it is so fascinating to me. Now that I think about it, there are so many roads here that seem to lead to nothing. Huh, what a metaphor to my life right now.
Arriving at the airport in Vegas, I can’t help but compare my surroundings to what I would expect to see from People of Walmart. Next to me is the most normal looking couple in the bunch who I’ve determined to be employees of the Las Vegas Chamber of Commerce. I’ve been able to decipher from their conversations that this trip won’t be like the last one; no one will drink enough to not remember the terrible sex they had the night before. I bet that office situation is awkward now.
I’m sort of losing my mind in Vegas, worrying that my connecting flight won’t be at the gate that’s posted, seeing as to how I just got off at that gate and know for certain that plane is not going to Reno, it’s going to Los Angeles. As super excited as I would be to go to L.A. (explanation here), I’m quite possibly beginning to hyperventilate when I ask the clerk for confirmation and she replies, “Well, I just got here, so…”
Oh, she must be on break.
By the grace of God, I’m able to sort out what gate I’m loading at and hop on the flight to Reno. The ladies next to me have had plenty of spirits prior to loading the plane and proceed to tell me about all the fun they are going to have on their vacation in Reno. At this point, I have yet to figure out why someone would go on holiday to Reno. I suppose I could have consulted with the adulterous couple from the Chamber of Commerce, that maybe they’ll know about the happenings from a competing city, but I’m distracted with drunk lady number one continuously yelling “Bring me my Kahlua!” Yeah, they had some free drink tickets. I slowly slide my headphones into my ears and drown myself in the last few episodes of the Serial podcast.
I feel like I’m in a race to get to baggage claim, although I’m not sure if I just walk slow or if everyone else around me is just walking much faster. Trying to make my feet go one before the other quicker than my current pace is requiring so much more effort than I have at this point. This is when I realize the first negative of traveling: actually traveling. Getting from point A to point B doesn’t happen with the click of a button. It’s time-consuming, exhausting, and sometimes pretty stressful.
Either way, I’m in freakin’ Reno. Let the party begin.