My Retarded Idea of Fun

I got canceled from the freelance job I had booked Monday, so I decided that leaving for my already-planned Florida trip a little early would be in order. Sunday afternoon, while I was helping Shana move, I got the silly idea that I should drive to Austin first - only because I have never been there and have always wanted to go. I texted my friend Jon to see if he was going to be around if I made the drive and then packed up my car to hit the road.

I have a problem with indecision. I couldn't decide whether to leave Sunday night or Monday morning. I drive better at night, but it was storming. I actually left my house, but came back an hour later because the clouds were looking a bit scary (I was only a couple miles away having tea with a friend before leaving). After my mom poked more fun at me for not ever being able to make up my mind, I left with Austin as my intended destination.

Driving, driving, driving... I didn't realize how far of a drive it was to Texas. I'd never driven there before. I hadn't even made it to Tulsa yet, and I had been in the car for almost 20 hours (granted, I did sleep for 6 of those). I was at another gas station, grumbling about having to fill my tank yet again when I thought "man, this was a really dumb idea." I texted Jon again and told him I was thinking about turning back towards Florida and I would come to Austin a different time. New Orleans seemed like a better idea at that moment. Unfortunately from where I was at, there was not a freeway connecting the two cities. So I mapped out a route on my atlas (yes, I still use my old fashioned paper map - where's the fun in Google maps?) and decided to take a trip through the Indian res. The turnpike cut through some absolutely beautiful land, however it seemed to take me FOREVER to get anywhere.

I got tired again somewhere in Texas (since the only way to Shreveport was through the uppermost eastern part of the Lone Star State) and slept for a couple hours. I made it into Shreveport at about 4am but then got tired again and decided to sleep for another couple hours before the sun baked me in my car.
Absolutely nothing interesting happened that whole trip, except a disgusting restroom (sign on the door read "do not flush toilet paper, put in waste basket" - yes, there was a bunch of poopy toilet paper in the trash) and a trucker honking at me. By the time I got to New Orleans I was so sick of driving, but I knew if I stopped to hang out for a bit it would eat up more time.

I learned on this crazy drive that I actually have physical limits to my driving now. After about 40 hours I started having some anxiety which actually culminated in 2 small panic attacks. Scary shit! I kept telling myself "you can make it, only 8 hours left" and "just keep driving, you'll be in Tampa soon enough." That's when I realized I was treating my trip as though I were running a marathon; which I have no intention of doing. Instead of enjoying my time, I was trudging and forcing myself past my limits. My long trips have always been tempered out before by frequent stops and curiosity. If I saw something interesting, I didn't hesitate to check it out. This was different. This was no good.

So I haven't actually made it to Tampa yet. I'm sitting in a hotel room in Marianna, FL. I'm about 5 hours away but after the second panic attack I decided it was best to just give my body a rest. Maybe next time I won't be so militant with my driving. Or maybe I just won't make completely outrageous plans.

No comments: