Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Never Surrender Blogfest

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Life, itself, is a series of overcoming obstacles that come our way.  But there was one time in particular where I almost surrendered to...

It started as my brave little move.  Divorce finalized.  Job applications out to transfer away from everything that had become the norm for me.  Starting over sounded absolutely AWESOME!

Job search successful, I had three weeks to move me and Chipmunk to sunny San Diego.  Not hard, right?  Thankfully, my brother was stoked to fly in to Texas so we could drive back to California (he was living there already).

We road tripped from Central Texas, through New Mexico and Arizona.  He took over, wisely, before we entered California.  Growing up in Little Rock, AR, I thought I understood a little bit about traffic.  My humble hometown in Texas softened me to smaller town traffic, southern hospitalities.

NEVER had I EVER experienced what we encountered my first few miles into the new state I would soon call home.

People used their cars the way rude people elbowed in a mosh pit.  Horns honked.  We got pulled over and asked, by border patrol agents at a check point, if we had any foreign fruits or vegetables.  I suppose having my car packed to the hilt made us a little suspect.  Five lanes of freeway didn't seem enough to contain the cars, trucks and diesels.  Crotch rockets and Harley bikes zipped between the rest of us stuck standing still.  My brother handled it all with grace.

I wailed my head off!  I can laugh now, but the fear just erupted into some pathetic cry.  I'm thankful Chipmunk was too young to remember mommy's breakdown.

We arrived to our destination where my brother rolled on the floor laughing as I seriously re-considered my decision to move to San Diego.  It was all too much after dealing with so little by comparison.  Small town life cooed at me all that day.  I still had a chance to change my mind, make other arrangements, go back to what I knew.

But I didn't surrender to the fear.  I cried.  Yes, that I did a lot those first 24 hours.  But the next day, I literally grabbed the fear and moved it away.  I could go back.  But I didn't want to.  And I'm glad I didn't.  Had I surrendered to my fear I would never have met Will Greenway in person.  Never got a chance to participate in the best ever writing critique group.

My toes still miss the tingle of warm sand though I've been back in Texas for three years.  Surrendering to fear would have cost me some great times and great friends.  I'm so glad that in that moment, I didn't surrender.

Do you have a time where you didn't surrender?  A task that seemed daunting, an event seemingly beyond your ability to handle?  Maybe those last two pounds you never thought you could shed?

43 comments:

  1. I bet it was a culture shock! Yeah, out west they are a little more aggressive with their driving. But you did it!

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    1. It was like a slap to my face...that blatant, "You're not in Kansas anymore" kind of feeling. lol!!

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  2. Absolutely. My first long distance move was such a hard decision to make. And I, like you, almost turned down the opportunity of a lifetime because I was afraid to leave the closeknit family circle. In the end, it was the right decision. Oh, I enjoyed success, and we gained capital, saved some cash, lived a better life, but that's not exactly why I say it was the right decision....
    Living hundreds of miles away forced me stand on my own (without that safety net of siblings and parents) and strike out for real. I discovered a new freedom I'd have otherwise missed out on. I grew as a woman, a person.

    Great post, Angela!

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    1. See, facing the fear and charging forward in spite of it. That's the Never Surrender attitude :-)

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  3. That was so brave of you to move to a new, big city with your son. Thanks for sharing your inspiring story. Mine will be up on Friday. Hope you'll stop by.

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    1. Great. Can't wait to check it out, Natalie.

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  4. Oh, Lord. This is the story of my life. LOL. I am afraid of everything and for that reason, do everything--at least once.

    If we don't take risks, we never grow, and we never truly live.

    I'm glad you took the plunge. As someone who knew you when you were married, you are indeed a better, stronger person. You struck an awesome win.

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    1. Thanks, Maria. It was a fearsome task to take on. But when I tell people about my venture into writing a novel, a few have thought it a brave task as well.

      And thank you for the encouragement you've shared with me through the years. I'm a better lot-of-things because of the nuggets of wisdom you've tossed my way.

      Big Hugs!!!!

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  5. That's amazing! It takes so much courage to move away from what you know!

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    1. That was more courage that I knew. But thankfully, as I needed it, encouragement found its way to me and made it a wonderful experience.

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  6. So glad you had your brother and that you didn't surrender! Fear can make us waver in areas we never thought we would.

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  7. What a great story! I cried when I left home for the first time to go to college. It didn't take m long to love it though! :D

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    1. Awesome, J.A. Getting over that initial into to change is something, but worthwile.

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  8. A wee bit of culture shock there, LOL. Even being a west coast person, the first time I drove through LA was hair-raising so I can relate. My cross-country trip came before the wee beasties, thankfully, and it was all about being young and stupid, and the excitement. That move was made for the wrong reasons but I found myself, who I wanted to be, by sticking to the plan. I definitely came out stronger on the other end.

    Fabulous post Angela!!

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    1. May have been for the wrong reasons, but as you've noted, it's had the better results...better meaning you are the better for the change and for sticking to your guns. Great stuff, Raelyn.

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  9. This is so inspiring, Angela, and I've learned so much about you just from this one short post. You ROCK!

    Since my parents both entered nursing homes precipitously within a few days of each other (3 1/2 years ago) it seems my life has been a series of "never surrender" moments -- and I am such a different, stronger, more alive person now than I ever was before.

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    1. You've got it about right, Beth. Life really is filled with many "Never Surrender" moments.

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  10. Many mornings, when the pain was so bad, the idea of just getting out of bed seemed like a mirage far off in the distance :)

    Thankfully, with the new treatments, haven't had one of those days in almost two months.

    I haven't been to Texas yet, but I LOVE San Diego!!

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    1. Alright!!! Way to face the pain, work through the treatments and refuse to surrender!!!

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  11. Angela, I would have wailed, too!! I get upset that I can't drive down the rural road from my house to the high school without being tailgated by some idiot. I don't know how I would survive California highways!

    But I suppose you do what you have to. I'm glad to hear that you survived and learned to drive in CA!

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    1. Thanks, Dianne. Retruned back to my small Texas town, I actually felt a little out of place. The pace was slower, the driving calmer and it took me a while to get ittitated with tailgaters since that was the norm in CA lol!!!

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  12. i love your description of the traffic! and so glad you stuck it out!

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    1. Thanks, Tara. I'm glad I stuck it out as well :-)

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  13. Even as a San Diego native, driving on the freeway can scare me sometimes still. I can see how that would shake you. But you're right, surrendering when things get rough can keep us from some great things in life.

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    1. Fear can keep us from some pretty good things in our lives...if we surrender to it all the time.

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  14. Cali traffic ain't no joke! And the motorcyclists are absolutely nuts. I had no idea the way they drove was legal until I looked it up.

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    1. My eyes bugged out each time I saw a motorcyclist maneuver through stand-still traffic. When my brother told me it was legal, my eyes practically fell out of my head lol!!!

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  15. Great post, Angela. Very inspiring. Your description of the traffic reminded me of traffic in India. Lots of honking and vehicles going in all directions.

    Writing was always, and remains, a challenge for me. I don't like to give up so I keep going even with rejections. The good bits make it worth the slug!

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    1. LOL that would be slog rather than slug. Feeling a bit sluggish today!

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    2. Gotcha, Shelley. The rejections associated with writing really could be a major deterrent...and for many, still is. But it's good you persevere to the acceptances :-)

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    1. Sure, Linda. Something like this is good to share, get it off my chest, too :-)

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  17. LOL, as a native Californian I know what you mean. I hate driving on freeways there. And I guess the Border Patrol stop can be intimidating. We've never been searched, just asked if we had fruit and then waved through. Totally brave of you, though, moving to another planet like that:) Well done!

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    1. LOL!!! It WAS like moving to a new planet :-)

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  18. That reminds me of my relocation to the U.S. from Europe, although Seattle drivers are mostly polite :-)

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    1. I can imagine the relocation from one country to another is even more of a culture shock. Brave move and glad you're here, Angela :-)

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  19. So very inspiring, Angela, and I'm so glad for you that you faced your fear and took on the challenge of a new life. Huge stuff, and I'm sure the gratification matched the level of the challenge.

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  20. Stopping by from the blogfest....What a beautiful story about starting over. Chipmunk must be very proud to have such a strong mama. ;)

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  21. Moving and starting over and changing is always so hard. I'm glad you didn't give up.

    Also, I wish I lived in San Diego. Ha!

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  22. Dude, every day I face that demon of L.A. traffic and never surrender!

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  23. Traffic in southern California? Yikes! I've been there and driven in that, but it takes a really good attitude and determination.

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  24. That what doesn't kill us....still might run you over! :) Good for you..sticking it out and pushing back!

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