As I grew into myself a bit, at the age of eight, I started going out there, in the snow with my quads and trikes. I used to take my trike down to the lake with the other boys and pull all of our buddies in sleds. We’d have donut competitions to see who could spin around the longest on the ice without flipping. I plowed through that snow like a maniac, fearless of getting stuck or being stranded. As long as I had a full tank of gas, I was good to go. I went through trails that led up into the mountains, finding frozen waterfalls and making my own paths to get home. Now that I’m in my thirties, I fear driving in the snow, even if the roads are plowed somewhat. “Oh maybe there’s black ice.” I mean ---the thought never occurred to me when I was younger. What happens to our fears when we grow up? Is it that we see other people making mistakes that puts the seed of fear inside our own minds? I wish I was still that same fearless little girl, riding her quad everywhere, discovering new trails and towns that I didn’t even know I was in. I even crossed over a state boundary through the Appalachian trails! And you’re not going to get roadside assistance there. Hell - I didn’t even have a cell phone. Yet, the funny thing is, I’m scared to get lost or drive long distances by myself, knowing that with one touch of my “SOS” button located in my car, that someone will be there in less than fifteen minutes. Funny how I age, I become much more fearful.
This year has been quite different though. I motivated myself with my passions in life. With putting this documentary that I’m working very hard on in front of me like a carrot, I am conquering many fears that I once had. I even drive into the city now without flinching or thinking about it. I do have my “boundaries” and little routines, such as drive down the FDR, into Battery Park and find a parking garage and hail a cab. That’s “safe” for me right now. While filming one segment of my documentary with Amy Beckerman and her partner, Ann, they took me for the dreaded midnight ride on the subway. That was a whole new experience for me. She explained how much longer it would take if we were to hail a cab and go across town that way. The subway would bring us there in no time. And she was right. My fear of subways have lessened a great deal and the thought of getting lost in the city seems to have dissipated as well. And, with my great phobia of tunnels, especially the Lincoln Tunnel, I conquered that one too. So these days, like the anticipation of a snowstorm when I was younger, I also anticipate my trips into the city, of course minus the snowsuit. Life is beginning to get fun, while my fears are beginning to get less.