Happy Independence Day. Maybe?
After last week’s enormous heat wave, it’s the Fourth of July here in the USA. I’m hoping that’s the last of the triple digits we see out here, and this weekend’s visitors met our more typical early summer weather — it’s cool and rainy. Welcome to a Central Washington Coast 4th of July. My earbuds are engaged as I write today’s blog post, because the holiday vacationers love their fireworks, but my PTSD does not. So, music, manuscript, and kitty cuddles are the key items on this weekend’s agenda.
The week was busy but humdrum. Adventure? Do slow and erratic drivers count as an adventure? Most of my week was spent shuttling two teens back and forth to town for summer classes, and most of my Friday involved taking Momma Jeep to have maintenance and repair work done. Because I use her like a Jeep is meant to be used: Off-road. Hard. Which means being responsible and taking care of her needs, too. Admittedly, I take better care of her needs than my own, but that’s a different blog post.
Recently, someone asked what finally got me into a place where I could work on my anxiety enough to get behind the wheel and drive again. [Note: I voluntarily gave up driving for almost a decade, because of my anxiety attacks and the involuntary, physical reactions I had to being startled, and it didn’t take much to startle me.]
The short answer is this: I wanted a Jeep Wrangler.
She wasn’t amused and Hubby was appalled that she couldn’t at least be a little supportive of my effort.
The longer answer has everything to do with Jill & Ian’s story, which is my current WIP. Like Jill, I cope with PTSD, an anxiety disorder, and major depression. In every rendition of this tale, Ian’s always had a Jeep Wrangler. But, unlike Ian, I’d never sat in one. I had no idea how the dash was laid out or what one sounded like. So my adventure through my anxiety went something like this last winter: I expressed frustration to Hubby with where I was at, trying to imagine this as a setting. He suggested a trip to the Jeep dealership. He wanted to look at something on the lot anyway, and he decided he’d ask the sales rep if I could sit in one of the Wranglers. This, of course, involved explaining to the sales rep that I was a writer, I had a character who drove a Jeep, and I needed a feel for it, but didn’t have a driver’s license.
I write romance. I believe in love at first sight.
I sat in the cab of that Jeep and fell. In. Love.
But I still couldn’t drive. I’d tackled a good deal of my anxiety and had far fewer episodes. I rarely need meds beyond the stuff I take daily. But the bottom line was, I wanted that Wrangler, but I had to get over my fear in order to get to it. And I did. It took effort (more than most people put out) to make the calls, in the middle of the COVID shutdown, to figure out what I needed to do. And by November, I was driving my own Jeep. Not a Wrangler. Not yet.
I have a nice, used, Cherokee in the driveway, and did a substantial amount of driving during our Christmas road trip to Florida. I’ve learned to kick Momma Jeep into four-wheel-drive and take her off the pavement.
So, yes. Good reason or wrong, I got back behind the wheel because I wanted a Wrangler. And I fell in love with that vehicle because of Ian. Like Jill, Ian made me face my fear and win some of my independence back.
This week’s progress:
- Finding Home drafted to the Midpoint of the story
- This blog (for a second week. In a row, even!)
- Figured out two more of the writing courses I planned to take this year and have them on my calendar.
Targets for next week:
- Another 10k on Finding Home
- Finishing a full module of my fantasy world-building course
- Getting a book recommendations page up here on Sagewolfsong.com