Posted by: Marie | October 4, 2009

(156) Finding my courage

Post #156
[Private journal entry written Thursday, June 18, 2009]

My mom called me this morning – the people from her place of work are all going whitewater rafting tomorrow (company event, immediate family members invited). She wanted to know if I wanted to go with them. Now, you have to understand . . she works at a small office (10-12 people) and they are all young to middle-aged, outdoorsy, athletic people. My mom is 77 years old and is deathly afraid of water unless it is in a swimming pool and no deeper than she is tall.

The Flower by Martin Chen

The Flower by Martin Chen

So, a few years ago, she went on one of these rafting trips and did just fine – but she decided that one time was plenty. So, today, I asked her if she was going on the rafting trip tomorrow. She answered that she was going on the picnic but was still debating about going on the rafting trip.

When she asked me if I wanted to go, I said “no” . . . not because I can’t, I have the day free . . . but because right now I feel way too unsafe in life to handle something like that. It is really weird to feel this way – I have always been the wildly adventurous one. I have done all kinds of dangerous and wild things – whitewater rafting is no big deal. However, I feel like I just can’t handle it right now.

In whitewater rafting, anything can happen. So, I would need to be prepared for anything. Right now, I haven’t shaved my legs or bikini line or underarms for months – under my clothes, I look like a wooly mammoth. I would have to shave all over – oh, joy!

And, what would I wear? The only clothes I have that fit right now are sweat pants and jeans – not a good choice for rafting – and I can guarantee you aren’t going to see me in a bathing suit at my current weight – not that I have one – and I don’t have the money to buy one because my work hours have been cut in half for the summer. I’m not even sure I’m going to have enough money to pay the rent the last month of the summer.

And, my face is so broken out – make-up does no good in the bright sunshine and it doesn’t stay on in the water. If I had to paddle fast, or squat in the raft, and when I climb in and out of the raft, I look like a whale – nothing dignified about that. I am just not ready to deal with all that could go badly. I know this would be good for me, but I just cannot get my mind around handling such an unpredictable situation right now.

When did I get this afraid of life?

I wonder – if I went on the rafting trip, would she go? Was she hoping that I’d go so that she would feel comfortable going? Is my fear holding her back? What the hell am I doing here?

Okay, take a breath.

I’m letting my fear be my world and my identity. I’m not willing to let that happen. So, take another deep breath.

First piece of business . . . we are talking about June, in the Colorado mountains, in a very cold river . . . nobody’s gonna be wearing bathing suits. It is true that jeans are too heavy, but I think I have a pair of hiking shorts in the back of my closet. I’ll make myself a deal – if the shorts fit, I’ll go on the rafting trip. If they don’t fit, I won’t go. Deep breath . . .

(Hang on a minute . . . I’m trying on the shorts . . .)

The shorts fit.

It won’t be a big deal to shave my legs and pits . . . no need to do the bikini line . . . I can do this.

I’m not going to wear make-up . . . who would I be trying to impress anyway? I’m not interested in dating . . . these people all know me pretty well since I have been my mother’s “date” at all the company parties and dinners for the last ten years. No one cares if I look like a hippo getting in and out of the raft – and if they do, it’s not my problem.

Okay . . . I’ll call my mom back . . . I’ll go rafting if she’ll go, too . . . I can’t let my mother “out-do” me!

(Hang on a minute . . . I’m calling my mom . . .)

Well, Mom said “yes” — as long as I promise to watch out for her and keep her safe . . . guess we’re going rafting tomorrow!

Quotes 066


  1. Hope it was a blast!

  2. Oh, Marie, I can’t wait to find out if you went! and How it went! At least your mother would go, mine wouldn’t go and she certainly wouldn’t ask me to go along.

    Sadly, I am the only one of five that she can trust – and she doesn’t like me.

    I’m actually tickled for you that your mother would go! She must be adventurous, like you. I know what you mean about the rivers in the mountains – cold anytime of the year!

    I hope you went and I hope you had fun!

    • Hey, Ivory –

      My mom is really cool . . . she is mostly cautious, but she does have this little devilish streak in her that comes out once in a blue moon. In the last 15-20 years, she has tried all kinds of new things. I really enjoy bragging on her.

      So, you and Evan will have to wait and see how it all turned out, LOL . . .

      – Marie

  3. I’m glad you found your courage!

    • Hi, lostinamaze –

      Me, too! It was a fun day! LOL

      – Marie

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