There was a time when I would leave a bar in Madrid at 3 in the morning, jump on some Spaniard’s motorcycle and enjoy an exhilarating, high speed spin around the city.
Or another time, when I was headed to Charleston, South Carolina on a Friday night to hang with my best friend Jo (yes, contributing mama Jordana), when I learned the flight was delayed. I had the following conversation with an airline worker:
“Why is the flight delayed? I have plans to go out tonight in Charleston,” I politely but urgently ask. I’m a 20-something single girl and I have PLANS. To go out.
“I’m sorry but we’re having a mechanical problem with the plane. We’re waiting for a replacement part,” replies the airline worker.
Unsatisfied, I press for more information.
“When is the replacement part getting here?”
“It’s hard to say.”
“Well, who needs one little replacement part? It’s a short flight. Let’s just give it a go. The bars are only open ’til 1 am, you know,” I joke.
Well, sort of joke. I mean, let’s get this plane off the ground lady.
During my teens and twenties, I felt so damn invincible. So courageous. So strong.
But somewhere along the way fear crept in. I started to hesitate. About too many things.
I now can think of a crazy amount of reasons why it’s not such a brilliant idea to hop on some random guy’s motorcycle in the middle of the night in Madrid.
Or why an aircraft replacement part might be slightly more important than a night bar hopping with my friends.
But with this maturity, I’ve lost something along the way. A certain boldness. A boldness that offers up life as it is meant to be lived. The full experience.
I know it has a lot to do with having children. It seems the more I have to lose, the more people I desperately love, the more paralyzed I become.
I want to protect my children from the evils of life and keep them safe forever. I want to be here on this earth for them as long as possible.
Of course, rationally, I know I can’t control their destiny. Or my destiny. But I keep trying.
So this year, I pledge to let go of a little of the fear. To have trust in the universe. To have faith in a higher power. To let go. Just a tiny bit.
Because I want my children to see me as a loving, independent and courageous spirit. The kind of mother who would absolutely take a ride on a motorcycle every now and again.
With a helmet.
The Spaniard is optional.