Short Story: The Result of Boldness, Confidence and Blind Faith…
“Taking a risk is the result of boldness, confidence and blind faith.”
Have you ever traveled with a non-family member? Heck, have you traveled with a family member? Traveling with others is a funny thing. It seems like there is a lot of rustling in bags for IDs and passports at the last minute, a lot of looking over shoulders to make sure so-and-so is with us, and a lot of questions: what time is this thing? When do we get to that thing?
Y’all I’m not in charge. But for some reason during a few of my travels I have found myself quite literally in the driver’s seat, and this particular time I’m sharing, it was on the other side of the car, on the other side of the road.
Ireland. Beautiful Ireland. You must know, firstly, that Kyle is scared to fly. I’m talking full on panic mode. He slams vodka and orange juice like he is still at a college fraternity party. This is why I left him at home and went with a friend and two others I had yet to meet back in 2017. I was the oddball from the start, meeting some of my travel mates for the first time at the gate of the airport. If I wanted to travel, I was going to have to put myself out there and go with people who wanted to travel, even if they weren’t my closest friends.
I think traveling is important. But it doesn’t make you important. A lot of people could care less about your adventures and I totally understand that. One of the travelers in our group thought his limited travels made him very important. From this point forward we will name him Uncle Bob, he was not really my friend’s Uncle, but she had known him long enough for him to assume that title. Uncle Bob offered to drive the rental car after our long flight to Dublin. We piled in the small sedan and made three trips around the airport before we headed toward our destination on the correct road. Tired and excited, this made me laugh which made him mad and he man-splained that driving in Ireland was harder than it looked. Oh the irony. It was then that he nearly took out the bendy-white-poles construction crews put in the road to alert traffic of a merge or something like that. Not once, not twice but at least five times. My actual thoughts in this moment were that of death and not wanting to leave my kids motherless or my husband without a wife. As if uncle Bob could hear my worries from 6 inches to my right, he nearly sideswiped a car in the next lane resulting in a loud honk. This happened at least three more times before I checked my phone to see if the back seat girls were as scared as me.
Sure enough Stacy, Phyllis and I were already hot on a group text about Uncle Bob. It went something like this:
“I’m scared. Stacy, do something.” (Phyllis)
“He is scaring the **** out of me too! He did mention that he went crazy one time before when he traveled abroad.”
“I can’t drive. I just took a Xanax.” (Phyllis)
“Well, let’s DO SOMETHING.” (ME)
“I just took a Xanax too.” (Stacy)
So there you have it. To Uncle Bob’s dismay, the Xanax twins in the backseat asked him to pull over and recruited me behind the wheel. Laughing and making promises that we may not get there fast, but we’d get there safely, I slid in and began to drive. Little did they know I had hit three cars in my lifetime, all of them parked. But never mind the details, I filled the spot better than the others at that point.
This story is hysterical from start to finish, but this is just a glimpse. I can’t let you go without including the next part though. As you can see, being the oddball in more ways than one stretched me and due to the circumstances and personality conflicts during the trip’s entirety, I decided to make my own plans.
Well, what is the first thing a CrossFiter does when traveling abroad? Visit a box and buy a T-shirt, duh. A cab driver, Mister Joe, sat in his car like any other day when a blonde American tapped on his window and asked if he could take her to CrossFit Galway. I’m such a cliché. Only Americans workout on vacation.
“I know the place.” Mister Joe is older and has thick white hair and bright blue eyes. His accent is exactly as you can hear it in your head and he is simply the jolliest person I have ever met. I instantly want him to be my friend forever. He drops me off at the gym and waits for me to be done without charging me extra. I briefly tell him my friends and I aren’t really on the same page about which activities we will pursue while in his beautiful country. He offers to take me on a private tour. I’m slightly creeped out, but I have managed to escape death thus far so I take my chances and agree to go with, afterall the man exuded good Irish vibes. I asked my travel mates if they wanted to go on the journey with me knowing they would decline mostly because my plans did not involve day drinking. So, I hopped in the cab sending up a prayer for protection.
Over the next 10 hours I got to see beautiful parts of Ireland and hear Mister Joe’s story. He even took me to his house that he built ’wi me bare hands.’ (Don’t worry, I only agreed to go to his house if he promised not to kill me. ) By the days’ end, he offered for me to bring my family out for a few weeks in the summer while he was on holiday elsewhere. Although we haven’t taken him up on his offer, I still email with him to this day.
Should I stay with the group even though I’d be subjecting myself to behaviors and conversations I really didn’t want to be part of? Or do I take a chance and get really uncomfortable and go it alone? I separated myself. I hung out with my travel mates at night and some during the day, but the rest of the trip I made sure to explore on my own even if they didn’t really understand it. It’s ok if others don’t understand your decisions and actions. Separating myself gave me the chance to not only explore Ireland with a local, that’s pretty obvious, but I explored the parameters of how I saw myself, how I saw the world. Could I make decisions that were a little scary and come out ok? Could I put myself in a position of vulnerability and trust that it would work out in my favor? I may not have seen the depth of my decisions that day or even that year, but looking back I have to apply it to my life right now.
*Am I making decisions that are a little scary with the trust and faith in our Creator that it will all be ok?
*If I truly believe that He works for the good of those who love him (Romans 8:28) am I confident to make choices that aren’t popular with others?
*If I have faith in what I cannot see, can I put myself in a vulnerable position and let God handle the rest?
It’s funny. When it comes to circumstances in life like traveling or going on adventures with my children, I can say I probably am a bit bold and I give thanks to the Lord for that. But in other places in my life, I’m not so bold and I’m not so confident in what I do not see. It’s a good reminder, sharing this story with you, that the experience with Mister Joe is the result of boldness, confidence and blind faith. Being his new friend forced me to become confident in my decision real fast and trust that it would work out in the end. And it did, he showed me that the Irish believe *THEY* were the first to fly an aircraft. He showed me the point closest to America from Ireland. He showed me castles and the beautiful wharf where he built his house. We had tea and a scone together at a café like old friends. I got to immerse myself in something I would have never had the opportunity to had I let fear and doubt lead the way.
How can you also apply this? Are you confident in some areas of your life, but hold back in others? Why? How can we spur each other on toward love and good works? How can we urge each other to go about it all confidently and in faith?
More pics of Ireland will be on my Instagram Feed @Mom_Dentity
Also the complete Ireland story is in my book Mom-Dentity™, it’s a must read full of irony and hilarity, right down to all of my travel mates puking over the side of a boat to Uncle Bob’s fall down a bunch of stone steps.
Thanks for listening and reading,