Given the sheer amount of uncertainty in life, you would think it would keep me from doing a lot of different things, and you would be right.
Last Saturday I'd fully intended to drive up to NJ to see my favorite "local" band (by that I mean they aren't mainstream or big time and they come from NJ which is basically next door) because I had that day off and they actually had a gig. The only problem was that it was up in Clifton, which was 2.5 hours away from us. It was even half an hour away from my Mom, who lives in northern NJ, so perhaps it gives you an idea of the length of this trek. I am happy to go to my mom's when I can. But for a band in a town I don't know late at night when I have to be home AND work the next day?
It was very scary. Which is why it didn't happen. I couldn't parse in my head how we would stay there until 2-3am listening to these guys, then make it home safely (or make it to my Mom's house and not wake her up stumbling in the door deafened and a little buzzed around 3am). If we stayed at her house and we didn't get out the door by 9am, I was going to be late for work AND fighting a massive lack of sleep. This all seemed like a huge obstacle to hurdle at the time.
In hindsight it's ridiculous, the weekend was so slow I literally DID fall asleep at my job -if for only briefly- and based on what calls came in that day I probably could've done the whole thing on 4 hours of sleep.
I think the problem is that I'm getting old and I care about being "normal". The value of integrating with the main stream is becoming apparent, and I am a decade behind in doing it while fully viewing the consequences of my tardiness. The old me would've gone, would've possibly showered and changed her shirt, then crawled to the car and driven to work. The new me, the one with a spouse and a house and a dog that needs walking in the morning at the right time (oh yeah, staying over night was a bad idea because the dog would be left alone, there's that) worries about such things and being responsible and taking care of her body. For once.
Of a different type of scary was the reformatting of my computer. Big deal, you tech types say, we do that constantly. Yes! BUT.... I was worried with all the stupid core memory dumps the machine had been doing that there might be physical damage or it had gotten too hot so sealant was messed up somewhere.... and that in trying to do the upgrade I might, in fact, render myself completely without a desktop. Which sucks, because I'm trying to do a digital arts class and I kind of need a desktop to do that with.
It turns out my fears were ~slightly~ justified, as the digital download of Win 7 I tried crashed and burned when my computer did it's famous restart-hiccup at the end of the install. It went in to a loop of restarting and failing to finish the setup which left me a little panicky. Thankfully, I'd had the presence of mind to acquire a CD with Win 7 on it as well, and forced the system to boot from the disk instead.
Installation occured smoothely and with nary a hitch after running a quick repair on the registry to fix the startup issue. And I felt really damned smart.
I vowed at the start of this year to get past my comfort zone and do things to expand my world and awareness. But when it means that doing so might impact others (dog or spouse or cats) then I have to wonder how far I push, how long, how far back in my own history do I emulate? I am famous for having driven 3,000 miles round trip to California and back by myself, and even being stuck there living out of my car for the better part of 8 months. It was miserable, but I did it. I survived that and I'm sitting in upper middle class America. I'm just wondering if this is truly a dulling of the senses as I perceive it, or evolution of some fashion occurring. Maybe caution just naturally comes with age. Maybe the understanding of mortality finally hits home and you know that you need to start being careful. I just can't get over the idea that something is being stolen with me, or that I am growing complacent in my own decent in to boringness and comfort.
Maybe that's what you do when you're in this position. You grow complacent. Really, what do I have to complain about? What do I have to fear? Maybe it's okay for my fears to finally be of small things instead of "oh god, what if I'm raped and beaten to death in my sleep out here in this parking lot?"
I kick myself for not going to NJ, but I know it was the smart decision. I also know they'll be playing more shows. They were at SXSW, for crying out loud. The world's going to want to see more of them.
Next time, though? To maintain street cred I am totally driving to the damn show.