Thursday, 4 June 2015

Oh the places you'll go

I have a fear,

Somewhat irrational and occasionally debilitating,

I am scared of driving.

As a child, I was in a car accident and though this didn't effect me particularly at the time, looking back it might be where my fear begins, as after the accident I frequently had dreams where I was driving an out of control car.

As a teenager I had lessons but found them mind numbingly scary, the five driving tests I took before I finally passed one were pretty horrific, I have a hazy memory of them at best, but a clear feeling of the sweat soaked trauma.

After taking so many tests my confidence took a nose dive from which it never really recovered.

Though I can and do drive and we were blessed to be given a car the year we got engaged, I really (really really) don't like it.

Though now I am happy making journeys I've done lots of times before, I tend to get thrown by anything new. As we think about moving to a new city with lots of new roads this is becoming more of a problem.

I don't think I am an easily scared person. In fact, I take quite a lot of pride in my general gutsyness,

but sometimes I think this one has got me beat.

Yesterday matt challenged me on the situation, out of love he said that he hates to see me held back by something like this and asked me to think about what we could invest in to help me with my fear.

I responded really well to this loving and gentle challenge - I definitely didn't scream and shout and stomp my feet and demand to be left exactly the way I am, I  certainly didn't say anything along the lines of 'thank you for your kind concern but I love the British railway network deeply and at least this way I won't die screaming in a flaming box of metal'

I was angry, because I was (and I am) terrified that I might have to face this fear. And ultimately Matt is right, I don't want to live in thrall to it. I could spend my life looking for ways around it but that doesn't seem to fit with my desire to embrace every part of life as fully as I can.

At nursery today a small girl brought me a Dr Seuss book to read to her, I felt it was apt for the situation...

This isn't all of the book but a few choice bits...

Today is your day.
You're off to Great Places!
You're off and away!

You have brains in your head.
You have feet in your shoes.
You can steer yourself
any direction you choose.
You're on your own. And you know what you know.
And YOU are the guy who'll decide where to go.


You'll be on your way up!
You'll be seeing great sights!
You'll join the high fliers
who soar to high heights.

You won't lag behind, because you'll have the speed.
You'll pass the whole gang and you'll soon take the lead.
Wherever you fly, you'll be best of the best.
Wherever you go, you will top all the rest.

Except when you don't.
Because, sometimes, you won't.

I'm sorry to say so
but, sadly, it's true
that Bang-ups
and Hang-ups
can happen to you.


And when you're alone, there's a very good chance
you'll meet things that scare you right out of your pants.
There are some, down the road between hither and yon,
that can scare you so much you won't want to go on

But on you will go
though the weather be foul.
On you will go
though your enemies prowl.
On you will go
though the Hakken-Kraks howl.
Onward up many
a frightening creek,
though your arms may get sore
and your sneakers may leak.

On and on you will hike,
And I know you'll hike far
and face up to your problems
whatever they are.

You'll get mixed up, of course,
as you already know.
You'll get mixed up
with many strange birds as you go.
So be sure when you step.
Step with care and great tact
and remember that Life's
a Great Balancing Act.
Just never foget to be dexterous and deft.
And never mix up your right foot with your left.

And will you succeed?
Yes! You will, indeed!
(98 and 3/4 percent guaranteed.)


be your name Buxbaum or Bixby or Bray
or Mordecai Ali Van Allen O'Shea,
You're off the Great Places!
Today is your day!
Your mountain is waiting.
So...get on your way!

Dr Seuss 'oh the places you'll go'

So there we go, I don't know what your mountain is, perhaps there are many or maybe just one or two but where they feel insurmountable perhaps we just have to start by moving a few pebbles.

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