Driving while Blindfolded

The holidays are happily behind us. It is not that I dislike the holidays. I enjoy them a great deal normally, but they are a frustrating delay when one has just moved and is in need of making money quickly. Everything gets put off until after the holidays — “Let’s just talk again in January.” they say and you smile while you try not to think of your dwindling bank account.

Still we have skated through and pulled it off — kids are happy. Santa did it again. Now we have to play serious catch up because this move was crazy more expensive than we imagined. But we are here, miraculously in many ways, and it feels a bit like we are driving blindfolded, like one of those team-building exercises where you fall back and someone catches you yet this time you are falling out of a plane and your teammate is the only one with the parachute.

We are down to the wire but amazingly we are getting just what we need to keep us on the road (or in the air depending on which metaphor you want to go with).

In many ways I have lived my life dangerously; I am not afraid to take risks. But they aren’t the kind of risks you may think of. I don’t do drugs or drink much. I don’t race cars or choose dangerous partners. Heck I don’t even stay up late — I need my 8 hours. What I do instead that is risky, or at least appears risky, is follow my heart even when it doesn’t make much common sense.

Don’t try this at home folks. I’m a professional. No really, I have become accustomed to risky, unusual situations from a young age and therefore can adapt fairly quickly to them. As a child I spent a lot of time in Haiti with my father. We didn’t live like tourists. Instead we traveled the country and had many adventures. I’ve been shipwrecked and rescued by the US Coast Guard; I have been thrown off a horse in the pitch black of night while coming down a mountain; I have spent the night in Catholic missions while the priest tell stories of real-life zombies; I have followed my father to so many voodoo ceremonies that I can still hear the drums in my head.

I could fill this blog just with moments from my childhood adventures, the countless times I felt a brush with danger or even death. There is something about the repetition of this danger that ends up numbing the sense of fear. One stares fear in the eyes again and again and makes it through so soon enough the fear has little power. Soon one doesn’t fear change or the unknown but rather embraces it. That is really all risk is: possibility.

I must admit it is not necessarily a healthy or safe way to be. As a mother now I would not want my children to do the same; I have had some good guardian angels in my life. But my fearlessness and n has led me into some amazing experiences from a 4-day whirlwind trip to Paris with just a backpack and a camera but no hotel reservation, to moving to a foreign country without knowing the language or having job security. No regrets, I have done some amazing things, but this adventurous spirit has now led my family and me here, to Miami, on a shoestring budget despite our planning, and a need to scramble to make it work.

Yet I trust this path that has led me this far. The path that caused the first place we almost rented to fall through only to make room for the spacious house we now rent to be available. This is the house I visualized; the life I wanted in Miami. Almost everything is more expensive but the potential is far greater so we just keep our nose to the ground and our spirits high while we move forward step by step.

Won’t be long now until everything falls into place and we settle in. Until then, I navigate on feel this crazy life.