I went back to Colorado for the first time since I had kids. By myself. It seemed so important; like one of those things you can't stop going really hard at, and then later, you look back and feel like you were possessed. I loved living out there, but if I'm honest, I was so lonely. That's why I got my dog; to have another being to experience the humbling beauty in which I lived. The preparation was intense, sometimes too intense, but I knew I needed to go. My good friend had a baby so it seemed it destined.
It was one of the hardest things I've ever done. I've spent the last four years living outside of comfort zone, I thought. It turns out, my comfort zone had shifted to crazy zone, and I realized too late that now I was really outside of my comfort zone on my way to the airport by myself. For some reason, my brain shuts down under stress. Not in a good chill way, but in a Dorothy in the poppy fields way. That happened when I was getting off the Akron-Canton Airport exit. What have I become that this would be overwhelming? I used to traipse into airports after three hours of sleep hungover (still drunk) with everything ready to go. Now, the shuttle bus pulled up to my car and I panicked because I was going to repack my suitcase and add running shoes and toiletries but he was waiting and everything fell onto the ground and I died.
To be fair, I should have known this day would be stressful when I was late to Easter Mass because my stupid watch was never "sprung back" at daylight savings and my only dress shoes were too big, preventing me from walking quickly despite the pair of toddler socks stuffed in the toes. I have this thing lately where I move in slow motion when speed matters most (probably depression) so after fixing my shit in the parking lot for 12 years, I got on the bus. But then I was in full spaz mode, talking too loud, breathing hard, sweating, etc. I had to eat at Arby's (the only food in that airport) and I followed a family around like a creep because I thought I had mistakenly grabbed their boarding passes. The passes weren't theirs. I spent the remaining time waiting and sitting and running and waiting and sitting through airports trying to get my head right. I read a whole book!
And then my bags were lost. At that point, I was under the impression that my return flight was two days later so I was crushed. But I soldiered on through shuttles and rental cars at the Denver Airport and even drove down to Pueblo to the hotel I reserved in Akron. It wasn't until 4AM that I had a nervous breakdown (tantrum) and called my husband acting like my life was on the line. I couldn't brush my teeth!!! He tried to help. God bless him, but the only thing I could do was get to the bags. So I drove back up to Denver. I cried and waited and cried and waited until they found my bags. It wasn't until noon that I could change. $30 worth of parking and hungry like a wolf, I set out to go see my friend.
Sleep deprivation makes me emotional and more paranoid than I already am naturally inclined to be. I was a nervous wreck driving over the mountains; cycling through emotions every ten seconds. I love extreme landscapes that make you feel humble and Colorado does not disappoint. I felt hyper-aware of my surroundings, talking to Sophia and trying to see everything. I started to get tired, but I soldiered on.