I’ve often had bouts of extreme anxiety while driving. It can really take me into a lot of fear and keep me from experiencing the freedoms in my life.

So, today I’m driving across my state. Alone. I’m excited about it and I am looking forward to it. I love my car, I have some great diversions (books on CD, music, etc) and I am very much looking forward to seeing my brother and his family.

It makes me pause, though, minutes before I take off. What if…..? And I won’t bore anyone with all the disasters that come to mind.

I try to use metaphors to understand my fears, and I do believe that the idea of moving, driving, going is part of the fears I have always associated with getting on with life. Being a solitary type of person, I’m more comfortable sitting in cozy spot with a book, or puttering in my very familiar home and feeding birds, or cleaning out a drawer of old discards. Moving into a totally new environment calls all that into question.

Not in any big, life-altering way. Just in a simple, nudging way. Life seems to say – hey, look at me! There’s more out here.

Once I get to where I’m going I love the experiences and the novelty. I have had wonderful travel experiences all over the world – and I would say that “I love to travel.”

And yet, at a cellular level – it is not me. So the more I am aware of who I am, and accept that, I will sense and know that I have an ambivalence about the process. The challenge. The journey.

For a while in my life – during paralytic panic – I just was afraid I’d die.

Now, I know it is more about a simple challenge, an encouraging challenge.

Setting it down in writing seems to help me cope with the fears a bit. I feel like I’m putting the fear into a context that doesn’t have to overwhelm me. I don’t have sweating palms or a headache or a racing heart — and for this I’m grateful.

And for now – I’m just setting off!