On Reality Part 1: Waking Up

Friday, January 25, 2013

I think it all started back in May when I got my very first speeding ticket. Yeah, that must've been it.

Just the night before I was bragging to my friend that I had made it 27 years without ever getting a speeding ticket. Oh I had gotten pulled over, but I always sweet talked my way out of it. I told him that the day I get an actual speeding ticket would mean I had lost my charm, and that would be a very sad day.

It could have been because my mom was in the car with me, and I felt foolish for trying my ticket avoiding go-to moves in front of her. Or it could have been that my days of charming my way through life was over, and now I had proof in the form of a white slip of paper from the City of Lehi, UT.

A handful of people would describe me as a dreamer, wanderer, head-in-the-clouds kinda gal. A few have told me that I need to come down and live a real life. I always blew off their opinions because I didn't agree with them. As far as I knew it, I was living a real life. I loved moving around all of time, going on adventures, living pay check to pay check with no concern for the future. I wasn't irresponsible. I wasn't getting into trouble with the law. I had decent jobs and paid my bills.

But this past year has been one big reality check after another. It started to dawn on me that maybe I was kind of living in a dream world. That for some reason I thought I was some exception to trials and realities that other people face.

And it all started with my speeding ticket. A few weeks after that, I got my first cavity. Another day I thought I would never live to see. And as the scatterbrained dentist grabbed some unfriendly tool from the nervous front-desk-receptionist-turned-dental-assistant-for-the-day I thought, "What the hell is going on here?"

My pride had been officially bruised. My go-to bragging rights were moving towards extinction. It almost felt like I was starting to wake up from a long deep sleep. I started to look at my life in a new way and notice just how much I chose not to see. How much I created a dream world to protect myself from heartache.

But guess what? It didn't protect me. Maybe it did for a while, but it wasn't anymore. In fact, I think it made me unable to cope with some things when sh*t finally got real.

It wasn't just the speeding ticket and the cavity. That just got the ball rolling. And now there is a whole other reality that I had been sort of blind to. The good and the bad. They are, but are not limited to, the following:

I am not some exception. My relationships aren't without problems. Love isn't all it takes to make things work. I have the ability to seriously hurt the ones that I love the most, and they have the ability to hurt me. My jokes aren't always that funny. Not everyone likes me. Not everyone cares about my opinions. I will probably never do a pull up. I'm a lot more resilient than I give myself credit for. I can be really happy and fulfilled by myself. Loved ones leave this life without saying goodbye or telling you why. Credit cards don't pay off themselves. Student loans aren't just free money. Calories do count during the holidays. I can't just run away to a foreign country whenever I feel like it. The Doctor is not going to show up in a blue phone box and save me from my life. I can be content without seeing mountains everyday, though I dream of them constantly. Fargo will always be ridiculously cold in the winter. I can still write decent music. I have eye wrinkles. My biggest fears can happen, and I can survive them. Dating, though fun at times, sucks and distracts me from what really matters. People appreciate my talents. People still love me even though I don't live by their rules anymore. And time really is the best healer.

And so here I am. Swimming in reality. And I'm actually quite excited about it. Instead of living in some high falootin' dream world, I am trying to take things just as they are. Accepting life for what it really is and not just what I want it to be.

Now there is something to be said along the lines of creating your own reality, life is what you make it, all that jazz. And I'm not saying that there isn't something to dreaming big and dreaming things into life. I'm talking about something else. I'm talking about waking up. Being present. Experiencing all that there is to experience as a human being. Truly enjoying the good and not being embarrassed or trying to avoid the bad.

And that's what I'm excited about. I'm excited to wake up. I want to see it all. Feel it all. But hopefully I can keep it all within the speed limit.


  1. "I can't just run away to a foreign country whenever I feel like it."

    Oh but you can, and you will!

    Great post my friend

  2. Getting a ticket doesn’t automatically mean that you’re irresponsible about everything; it’s just a reality check that no one was exempted to commit a mistake. It can be an embarrassing experience, but at least it makes people realize that it pays to be attentive on the road.

    Norma Richards @ Just Bail Bonds