It is sometimes quite a task living up to the ‘brave’ nomenclature that I write under and seem to have been labelled with. The word itself carries a weight of expectation … much of which I put on myself… but I also feel some sense of duty to live up to being ‘brave’ given how I am perceived by many of my friends and acquaintances.
Today has been one such task.
My friends will be aware of my recent ‘appeal’ for a travel companion to come with me to Madeira. It was a short notice call, as a result of my original travel buddy being struck down with Covid. I received a number of messages along the lines of ‘I wish I could, but…’ and unfortunately no-one seemed in a position to take up the offer of a cut-price, last minute trip.
No matter. I am brave, aren’t I? I will go anyway, and enjoy 4 days of relaxing solitude. I know I could cancel and claim on my insurance, but that’s not what brave souls do, is it? Intrepid traveller that I am, I stuck to my plans, packed my case, and set off.
My coach arrived way too early at Bristol airport (it was that or cut it fine). I had to hang around for an hour before I could even drop my bags! I had decided to treat myself to the executive lounge at Bristol airport so that I could relax in peace whilst waiting for my flight, so I sauntered through the Duty Free and paltry selection of shops and settled down with a light meal and glass of wine.
I got as far as an hour before ‘go to gate’ when I had a humongous wobble. What the hell was I doing? I didn’t want to be here. I didn’t want to travel alone. I didn’t want to spend 4 days as a solo traveller hundreds of miles from home. What I wanted to do was get back on the coach to Cardiff. I burst into tears. I wasn’t feeling brave at all… I was feeling decidedly lonely, scared and vulnerable.
I messaged my wing women. I called my wing women. I was heard, and supported, and I was given permission to do whatever I felt best. I calmed myself a bit, and wondered how I would retrieve my checked bag before it went to Madeira without me… I had half an hour to sort it out or get on the plane.
Sometimes things just seem so huge, it’s difficult to know how to get through, round or over them. Self talk is always a good start, but there are times when that falls short. Today, 4 nights away on my own is the huge thing. Self talk has got me on the plane, and I’m relying on it to get me through the week. I hope that the positive voice manages to drown out the gremlin that’s renting a space in my head at the moment… the one that controls the tear tap and the lonely switch.
Anyway… that’s tonight’s post. Fingers crossed that tomorrow I will be back on the brave bus with adventurous tales for your delectation. In the meanwhile, I’ll be trying not to wobble.