We’ve all heard of this, I can vividly remember learning about it in 8th-grade health class. The boys’ basketball coach with his red shorts and whistle standing at the front of the class trying to explain the difference between the two like we were foreign exchange students that didn’t speak English.
I remember seeing those words on a page and wonder what I would do if it came down to it. I wondered was it hereditary or learned. If we didn’t like our choice could we change? Weren’t there other choices besides just these two? It seemed so strange to me that there were only two ways that I could be.
I actually worried about this for a very long time because honestly, my instinct is to fly. Although, when I was a teenager I wasn’t known to back down from a fight and probably started quite a few. That wasn’t me though, not really, that was the grief of losing my father suddenly at 15 and like most 15-year-olds I didn’t understand grief or how to work through it. I just gave in to it and let it take over my life. That’s a whole other story for another day.
Back to fight or flight though, have you ever given it any thought? I know I’m prone to flight because I try my very best to avoid conflict. It makes me nervous, uptight, and it also makes my stomach hurt. There I said it, I DON’T LIKE CONFLICT.
I just don’t understand why people can’t get along. I can’t understand the world we live in these days. All of the anger and hatred that people are carrying around with them like an old duffle bag, thrown over their shoulders while parading around as if proud of the hurt and hate they spew.
The definition according to Wikipedia:
The fight-or-flight response (also called hyperarousal, or the acute stress response) is a physiological reaction that occurs in response to a perceived harmful event, attack, or threat to survival.
There are other instances that cause the fight or flight response. Things like dealing with life when it’s physically and mentally difficult. Like illness, death or even hard times. Again my choice is Flight. When the world gets dark and ugly I hide from it, sometimes not leaving my house for weeks at a time.
Or when it’s brought to my front door I’ve been known to run like the wind. Like when my youngest and most favorite brother-in-law passed away because of cancer at 41, or my best friend committed suicide by shooting herself in front of her husband and child, or when the doctor tells me that my mom is going to die soon because she has metastatic breast cancer I want to run.
I want to get in my car and run as far away as I can, as fast as I can, but that’s not always feasible. The love I have for my mom is stronger than my instinct to flee, but it’s a constant fight to prevail when all I really want to do is to load what I can in my car and run as far as possible. Since I can’t physically take off I have to find a way to run if only in my mind.
So, we’re planning this huge road trip beginning in May of 2020, both us knowing but not speaking allowed, the fact that my mother is no longer here. I know I want to run as far as I can as fast as I can, but I can wait until then. Instead, for now, I’ll take short bursts of freedom from my everyday life. Because that is who I am and I’m pretty okay with that.
I don’t want drama or strife in my life. In fact, my health depends on it. My husband tries to shield me like Serena Williams swats the ball with all of her strength. He’s terrific like that, but I know it has to be exhausting for him.
So, we’re planning our route to places far, far away. We like circles because we don’t want to see the same thing twice on any road trip. We’ll head out west to Yellowstone and then go north and drive through Canada to Alaska where we’ll follow the coast down to San Francisco over to Yosemite and finally east to SC where we call home. I’m so excited because I plan on meeting quite a few of my great blogging friends IRL. You never know you may spot us in your neighborhood! Wanna have lunch?
What places have you always wanted to travel too? Do you like road trips?