Hi there. Again I find myself saying, “What should I be doing right now?” The answer is (as always) “not blogging.” Except that you know what? Sometimes, I really NEED to blog, and that’s okay. This is one of those times.
I know this website is “technically” supposed to be about being a DD fan. That’s why anyone reads it at all, right? My own personal stories and life issues aren’t necessarily blog-worthy, and I’m not so narcissistic that I can’t recognize or differentiate between my own life and that of the band. I mean, come on. The truth is though, this is my safe place. This is where I can write what I want, however I wish, and here we are.
I leave for Italy on Tuesday. Our flight is actually later in the day, but because of the distance between where I live and the international airport we are leaving out of, we’re driving down at about 6am. This trip is one we have been talking about and planning now since the beginning of COVID. It serves as my 50th birthday present, the 25th anniversary trip for my husband and I, and…a very fun and exciting trip we are taking with our closest friends. We will be gone for three weeks.
In preparation, I’ve read nearly every possible travel book on Italy. There have been hundreds of hours spent working out all of the details with my friend, Lisa, her husband Tom and Walt. I’ve been learning Italian now for nearly a year and a half. My comprehension skills are fabulous, my speaking skills need lots of practice. I am definitely going to keep working on it and finish the entire course. (Thanks to Duolingo!)
How can I possibly leave for three weeks? We still have a teenager at home who is in school! Let me just say – it honestly and truly takes a freaking VILLAGE. Over the course of three weeks, my home will be host to four different family members, each taking a turn at being the primary adult “parent”. The calendar is insane. At one point, I didn’t know how I was going to get her to school. Thankfully, our family came to the rescue. There is only one single day where a friend’s mom is her transportation. I can breathe relatively easy.
The anxiety I have when it comes to travel is pretty crazy. We leave Tuesday and I already find myself semi-paralyzed by the to-do list. I downloaded the Calm app, and I’m listening to some relaxing music as I type. My phone has the TimeShifter app waiting to begin on Sunday. My friend Lisa swears by it for dealing with jet lag. We will see, and I’ll report my results here. I haven’t even started packing, and as I’m typing this, I see my cleaning supplies in the bathroom. They’re waiting for me to actually use them. Imagine that? My stomach does its normal “flippity-flopping”, and I know that it is going to be a long weekend.
One might think that my travel anxiety – and I’m not even remotely afraid of flying, so it isn’t THAT – would be enough to keep me at home. Sometimes, I think about never traveling again just so that I don’t have to go through all of this. At times, it would certainly be easier. I am a worrier by nature, but I am determined not to let my stupid anxiety, or what I grew up calling “my nerves”, get the best of me.
I have a bucket list of things I want to do before I die. Some of those things involved the band, and several of those things have since been checked off now. I can’t really marry Roger at this point – I was a dreamer when I was ten or eleven – so I’ve crossed that off too. Don’t even ask me about anybody else who has been working with the band for almost two decades. This is a safe place, not necessary a full, soul-bearing confessional room , and some things are best left entirely in my own head, unspoken and/or untyped forever more. 🙂
The bucket list
At the top of that bucket list is Italy. My dad was Italian. His father came from Sicily, so I suppose that makes my dad Sicilian (his temper sure was). He never had the chance to see where his ancestors came from. I know he wanted to go, but died before he had the chance. My dad put off his travel until the time was perfect. That was a hard learned lesson for me. I have always wanted to go, and I didn’t want to waste any more time getting there. Touching down in Naples will be emotional for me on a lot of levels. My last name – my real one – is Le Donne. If you know Italian, you’ll realize it means “The women”. I didn’t know that until I started learning Italian. I am incredibly proud of that heritage, and I can’t wait to be there and experience it not as just a tourist, but as someone from my family finally going back home.
That crossroads of the emotions of traveling somewhere my dad never could, along with the extreme travel anxiety I seem to experience, is exactly where I am right now. I feel like this every time I go anywhere, even to see Duran Duran, or even to be with my friends, and rather than getting easier, it seems to get worse each time. This is especially challenging this time because I’m leaving my youngest here for three weeks, and I worry about every single possible thing you could imagine. Will she wake up on time for school? Will Gavin remember to get her? What about the cats? Will someone remember to feed them even though it is on the calendar. The chickens will also need fed and will need water – no one had better forget them! Is my mom going to be okay without me here for three weeks? Who will check on her? The list of worries goes on and on.
Some people are worth it
You’d think I would just give up, but what good is that? In fact, no sooner do I get home from Italy, I’ll be getting ready to go back to Las Vegas. No, not for the Halloween shows, but for the DJ gig that comes before. You might recall some mention of a certain guitar player in Duran Duran’s touring band I’ve been known to talk about from time to time. Joke as I might about crushing on him, he’s a good guy and a fantastic musician.
He’s going to do another DJ set, along with my faux-brother and dear friend Jason. I can’t just not go, and those two, along with my good friend (who is never to be forgotten no matter what she says) Suzie who lives there too, matter. They matter to me, whether I can go to yet another DD gig or not. (spoiler: I can’t. Their shows have gotten way out of line for me in that town, cost-wise) Some things, some people, are worth the discomfort. I’ll be there, cheering them both on, and not because I am hoping to hook-up with Dom, but because I care enough to support my friends.
That’s really what I’m trying to get across here. Experiencing life is worth the discomfort. It is worth the feeling of breathlessness and dizziness I seem to have more and more often these days. Three, five, or even ten years from now, I don’t want to be hooked up to an oxygen tank like my dad was, looking back at everything I could have done, and instead put off because I worry so much. At that point, I won’t be able to go back. There are some things I can’t really control, but I absolutely can control my anxiety enough to be able to get myself on a plane, or to drive to see people I genuinely care about.
Ciao amici miei!
The cleaning supplies don’t seem to be doing much laying on the bathroom counter on their own, so it appears I need to get in there and do my due diligence. I won’t be blogging from Italy (the days of me taking my computer with me everywhere are indeed over), so it will be a few weeks before I write again. When I do, I’d imagine I’ll have plenty to say.