“…and the sign said, long haired freaky people, need not apply…” was blaring from the radio as I was launched from the fabric door on my parents’ brand new CJ7 Jeep. I wasn’t wearing a seat belt. I landed alongside the road, in the grass, rolled head over heals a couple times and then rolled to my feet. As I stood there, music still blaring in the background, my friend’s car screeching to a halt behind the upside down Jeep on the gravel road. I checked my fingernails. I don’t think I had even painted them. I wasn’t much of a ‘girly girl’ then either. Not too much make-up. Pretty enough. Nothing special, really. My nails were in tact. Whew. They call that shock.
My friend, Janet, ran over to me…asking if I was ok. I felt ok, aside from the sick feeling I had looking at that BRAND NEW most likely totalled car. She crawled under the car. Turned it off. The music stopped. My dad did LOVE Jeeps. I lied to my folks, told them I had seen a chipmunk and swerved, rolling the Jeep. HA! My dad knew, of COURSE, that didn’t happen. I had been fish tailing on the gravel and looked too long in my rearview mirror to notice the telephone pole in front of me. I cranked the wheel hard. and Voila! Flying Beth. Broken Car. Even the roll bar. Janet and I went on to attend our friends wedding. Grass stains on my knees.
We have all crashed. At least once in our lives. Maybe not a vehicle – maybe just little emotional crashes that have us “checking our nails”. Sometimes, tho, you feel like you have just had a crash you might not recover from, you know?
I remember seeing a video of my dad’s once. A long time ago. He was super proud of it. It was something I really didn’t KNOW he did. I think I actually knew, but it scared me so much, I tried to not think about it. He was a pilot and flew a lot. I was ALWAYS afraid he was going to crash. I didn’t like when planes would buzz overhead, because it reminded me of that feeling. Nobody really knew that’s how I felt. That may have something to do with being motion sick most of my life. (that is off topic tho..)
The video. It’s of a crashed airplane. In an incredibly small field, with forest on all sides. The plane doesn’t look too bad, but let’s be honest. It had just crashed, so it can’t be too good. The footage is of my DAD flying that plane out of the crash site… taking it to get repaired. Really. ugh. He did this and loved it.
Sometimes you feel like you crashed from super high and your plane is stuck in a super tight spot. Emotionally there isn’t any space. No tow trucks. It’s “fly it out of there, or trash the whole thing” time. Are you with me? I find myself there. Every once in a while. All the trying events of my life crash into me at once – history meets present. And I tailspin. Sometimes it’s an impending holiday. Sometimes it’s a life circumstance, usually unexpected. And for all the encouraging comments and loving friends. I am still going down. Like the guy in the tower. Willing me not to crash, but my plane is not complying.
Today. I see myself flying out of the crash site. I feel like I inherited these badass, thrill-seeking, “let’s do this” genes. Today.