I have a special pillow.
I used to throw my neck out of whack while traveling or washing my hair or turning over too fast in my sleep. (Apparently I’m a very aggressive hair washer.) But then I got the special pillow. I’m so convinced I have to have it that I will take a bigger checked bag on a trip just so I can take it with me. I’m sure I can’t sleep well without it. I admittedly panic a little when I choose to leave it at home. Because … what if?!?!
We all have our habits and superstitions, and I’ve been thinking about mine. Like how I carry a book with me at all times, even to the bathtub where, honestly, I never even read; that I’m paranoid about the germs in hotel bathrooms; how I will drive all the way back home if I’ve left my cell phone; how I need coffee before I can “function” in the morning; that I’m convinced I’m afraid of heights and a little claustrophobic; how I have to have a bottle of water with me at all times, so much so that the instant I realize I’ve forgotten my water I’m dying of thirst.
In addition to my Central Europe Hiking trip being incredible in about a thousand ways, I also feel like I detoxed my thought process.
I left my special pillow at home and slept fine, even though we changed hotels 7 times in 3 countries over 14 days. By the time I got to the last hotel room, I was so done with packing/unpacking that I’d taken to just dumping all of my toiletries in a pile on the bathroom floor. I never read a single book, not one, not even before bed. Instead, I listened to music or an audio book, looked at maps of Slovakia, or watched a movie. This may be the longest I’ve ever gone without reading. Sometimes I had water with me; sometimes I didn’t. Coffee didn’t always come early enough, and shockingly I still “functioned”; I used my cell phone to take pictures and to send a few text messages. I didn’t have an international voice plan, and so did not talk to a single person back home, not even my husband or my children, for 2 entire weeks. I walked along the edges of tall cliffs and drop-offs (only one of which was scary) and rode in funiculars and glass elevators and small crowded boxes that hung from cables, and on ski lifts. And even though I can still do without driving on curvy mountain roads, I realize this is probably just a very specific fear and does not mean I’m afraid of ALL heights.
How much of this is real, and how much have I manufactured?
And who am I without all of my very specific fears and requirements and definitions of what makes me, me?
I’m back home and wondering when and how and why I ever decided all of these things about myself. And yet, I’m already thrilled to sleep on my special pillow. I even said “Ahhhhhh” out loud when I went to bed last night.
What are your phobias or special comforts? And do you think you are still “you” without them?