I went to the dentist today for some needlework. I don’t like the dentist. I’m not usually a nervous person, and I’m not sure the last time in my whole life I felt truly scared, but being in the dentist chair is so not fun for me. I told them I felt more at ease when I jumped out of a plane. My body gets cold chills, I feel hot and sweaty…I just don’t like it.
Recently I made a first visit to this highly raved about and recommended new dentist for the usual x-rays, cleaning, etc. (Don’t tell Mom but it’s been a while.) Go figure, because it had been a bit of time, that one “on watch” possible cavity had come to fruition, one needed to be replaced, and even better news; I needed a crown. Yippee! I mean, who wouldn’t want to spend a few thousand bucks on teeth instead of you know, a trip to Italy for 2 months or something? Adulting is such a bummer. So in I went today for the first in a three part series we will call project drain Diane’s travel fund, but you only have one set of those teeth, so you better take care of them!
My new dentist and her lovely assistant were the best. I mean, the best. (Like a mom with a rockstar reliable babysitter, I refuse to share any contact information for this amazing tooth care goddess in fear you will all call, book her up, and I’ll have to go back to that psychotic creepy old man that ripped my mouth apart last time adding buckets of fuel to my already flaming I fear the dentist bonfire.) This new bright shiny office and all of it’s help were kind and attentive. They listened to my past dental horror stories to genuinely learn what I needed, then got to work; numbing gels by the gob full, then one needle, and another, and another, and another. Did I mention another? They kept asking if I could feel this and that to ensure I was fully in numb la la land before starting to drill. When I could finally (sort of) feel the right side of my face nearly sagging to the ground, this ever so patient woman said “Well, I guess we’ve found out that you are very hard to numb!”
HA! Isn’t that the truth. Story of my life, sweet, gentle lady.
Back to why I need a crown:
A couple big cavities on a back tooth I’ve had for years are now cracked/damaged along with the tooth itself. Why? Because I spent a good portion of 2015 and 2016 not sleeping even though I tried desperately. You could say I had a torturous run of getting my heart ripped to shreds. (Picture it’s 1985 and a seven year old on Christmas morning turns animalistic assuming his wrapped box is a Nintendo.) Apparently on the rare occasion I did actually sleep, I was a gold medal champion jaw clencher and teeth grinder as I tossed and turned dreaming of things you don’t want to hear about. Break goes the tooth. (This is not a case of she just doesn’t brush or floss. With the Nutella habit that I have, I’m a nut…no pun intended…about my Sonicare, floss, and Listerine routine.)
If you really do give a super duper flying you-know-what about anything or anyone, you’re bound to feel intense pain when that something or someone isn’t so peachy keen. During those couple years when this deliciously gorgeous and abusive life was swirling around me, I didn’t rest much. Not because I was restless, but because I was ALIVE. Obviously too alive, too conscious, too un-numb. I now wear extra wrinkles at 38 proudly because I’ve come out breathing on the other side.
In 2003 after reading Roadtrip Nation, my 25 year old self was in love with these authors, and everything they were doing. Their book and manifesto were a big encouragement for me to continue my road warrior habits. I needed to discover. They get it! I thought. Life! It is supposed to mean something. What you do for work can and should matter! Purpose! Yay! I want to find that! I remember writing to Mike & Nate asking for advice on best ways to discover what kind of work I wanted to do. I will never forget what Mike sent back to me via email:
“YOU JUST HAVE TO FIND SOMETHING TO GIVE A SHIT ABOUT.”
And here we are.
I probably give two shits (by that I mean 2,222) about way too many things and far too many people. My heart is filled with that kid in a candy store joy more times in a day that I can usually count, then broken again a few minutes later, and all too often. I stay in touch with/put a lot of effort into/love a lot of human beings and that makes me happy. People are my jam, my priority. I feel like I live in an over the moon utopia of lucky awesomeness because I am able to share with so many other different, interesting, funny, kind, quirky, entertaining heartbeats.
I don’t ever want to be numb. Even if that means I could get raked through the coals a million more times.
The price tag for giving a shit is VERY expensive. There are HUGE needles involved. I will pay the bill and take the pinch every time. Life outside the drone zone might hurt more than existing in the safety zone, but every bit of pain is worth it. I hope until my very last breath, even if I’m stuck with a billion needles, I’ll keep moving towards the finish line still being able to feel every bit of everything.
What makes you feel alive today?
The above screen shot is part of a text conversation that happened as I was starting to write this. Perfect, right?
#LoveFinishesFirst #FeelIt #NeverNumb