Day 223: The Multiple Choice Section

Sometimes we hear what we want to hear.

That’s the beauty of AA meetings. If you need a sign from above, you can have one. It can have all the meaning in the world, or, it can be coincidence. It’s really all how you look at things.

If you want a specific answer, the AA group is also another good place to start. The whole deal in an AA meeting is to carry and share experience, strength, and hope with you, wherever you fuckin’ go. You can get all these things in an unguided, raw, unprobed daily dose, or, you can go in there and try to find someone with the specific experience you’re looking for, and most likely, you’ll find it.

After meeting with my therapist yesterday and wading through my own contemplations at home, I’m still not really sure what to make of taking a trip. I still haven’t said anything to my family or Lars about it, and, I don’t really want to make a big deal of it until I know that I’m on board completely. So, I went to the best place I knew to find people that have made mistakes, and not just any mistakes, big mistakes: My Friday night AA meeting.

I got there early. Unloading all my secretary gear and watching the early birds start to filter in, I started to wonder if it was even a good idea to ask these folks what they thought. After all, they don’t really know me. A few of us are closer than others, but, most of our relationships are cordial. Nothing too much deeper than the surface greeting and smile. I knew that no one would have a problem giving me their opinion, actually, that’s probably the one thing that NO ONE has a problem with in AA. Everyone’s an expert.

But, they’re not experts in the art of me. And, while we all have the same ailment, inclinations, and perhaps even inner dialogues, I still wasn’t sure I wanted these folks weighing in on my big decision. So, the meeting began, and I tried to put it out of my mind. After all, I wasn’t even sure I’d be called on. And, I used that as a sort of God-shot gauge as to whether I should say anything at all. And then, the chairperson called on me.

I decided that rather than ask for advice, I’d present a piece of my story that I hadn’t really shared about before, about my independence, or lack thereof. How I’m always looking for someone to give me permission, for pretty much everything in my life. How I don’t like making mistakes, even little ones. And, how that bothers me. But, I also said that, after mentioning the possibility of a trip, I didn’t want to take a trip just because it gave me a reason to do something without permission. I want to be spontaneous, without going off the deep end. I want to have adventure without losing myself in the wilds of the jungle.

I think the group understood.

After the meeting, about half of the attendees came up to me and encouraged me to go for my dream. I hadn’t sounded crazy and impulsive? Well, apparently not. Perhaps some of these folks had experience with traveling, and perhaps some just wanted me to live a dream out that, perhaps, they couldn’t, but, for whatever reason the feedback seemed genuine, and in my favor.

I left the meeting feeling like I’d passed a test. But, somewhere deep inside I know that if it was a test, it was just the multiple choice section. If I’m really going to take this trip, the hard part of the test is still to come.

The essay portion is going to take a little more research.


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