Lean Into It
Part of being a travel writer is being social. You go on press trips to new places, either in group form or solo. You meet a number of passionate people with wonderful stories to tell and quite often, you break bread and drink wine with those same folks. I love it dearly. But right now, it scares the shit out of me. I need to get back to work, and as such, need to get out there and corral some things to write about.
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The problem is that my face explosions are still on a hair trigger. I will erupt into a full wail with little to no warning and I like to avoid traumatizing innocent bystanders if I can help it. I recently happened upon a pretty good method for coping with work events, however.
A few weeks ago I was driving out to Eastern Oregon for a weekend press event. And during the course of the multi-hour long drive, I confronted grief like it owed me money. I recalled intimate moments, grand adventures, and goddamn it if I didn’t play all the sad songs…..all of them! I scream-cried like a banshee off and on for the duration of the journey.
And while not in public, technically, I did catch a few glimpses of unfortunate souls that caught glimpses of me.
“Honey, look at that man in the car next to us. Jesus Carl, don’t “look look” - kind of look. What the hell is happening in that….who is he talking to? He looks like he’s dying. Should we notify somebody? No, we’re staying out of it…… Well, thanks so much for your non-input, Carl!”
But you know what? That shit worked like a charm. That afternoon and evening I was a peach - doling out smiles and dad jokes for hours. Sure, I may have gotten misty a time or two. But bitching about “allergies” is 100 times better than creating a Tik Tok-worthy public spectacle.
I still employ this technique today before certain events. Most notably the presentations I’ve been giving about my grieving and healing process.