I have talked before about how I lived a life of “Ignorance Is Bliss” and generally felt safe in my day to day life until I encountered an occasion that put my safety in question. After that time, I lived in fear and had a very hard time relaxing regardless of where I was, who was with me, or the number of weapons that I had access to.
I remember at my Conceal Carry class, sitting inside this tiny shack in a fairly remote location and thinking, “What on earth would I do, if a gang of wild banshees came and attacked us right now??” We all had guns and lots of ammo, but none of the weapons were loaded and from time to time, I would let my wonder to the wild banchee invasion. My mind had us attacked and killed half a dozen times.
Fear is no way to live and neither is ignorance. I have done a variety of things in an attempt to be more safe , but I also needed to feel more safe. I already wrote about how feelings can lie and just because one feels safe, doesn’t make them safe, but how I feel, real or otherwise, has a direct connection to my state of mind, peace, and happiness.
Up until our vacation at the beach, I had been reacting instead of acting. I would read something, assume it was true and then do it, only to find it it wasn’t quite right, at least not for me. That modus operandi was exhausting and deflating and was no way to live either.
At the beach I had time to reflect. I had calmed down a bit and I was able to put my grocery store parking lot experience into perspective. I was able to slow down and take the time to think about what I was reading and being taught. I was able to find balance.
I tend to be very black and white and very right is right and wrong is wrong kind of gal. So, if I believe something is right I do it, 100% of the time and if something is wrong, I don’t do it.
I always like to share this story because I think it is a good illustration of how my mind works. When I was a brand new professor I had to attend an orientation for the college I was going to be teaching at. During the orientation we went on a tour of the campus to include the staff lounge. In the lounge was a fancy coffee machine. This was quite a few years ago and before the individual coffee pod thing had caught on. So, the head chicky poopoo that was giving the tour, showed us how it worked.
Put your cup under the spout, select coffee flavor, put in machine, hit button, throw away empty pod, enjoy.
A few days later on my first day, I went into the lounge to get a cup of coffee. I put my large travel mug under the spout, selected my coffee(dark roast, no foofoo flavor), pushed the button and enjoyed. The coffee was yummy, but the pods were small and only filled my cup up about half way. I was slightly annoyed because the campus was large and I would have to keep heading back there to get my coffee fix. Then one day, there was another professor ahead of me getting his coffee and I saw him get a pod, push the button and wait, then he pulled the pod out and put another one in and pushed the button again!!
It never occurred to me to use another pod. It wasn’t that I thought 2 pods was wrong or that we were not allowed to have 2 pods, it was that it never, ever occurred to me to get another pod. I was told the procedures.
Get “A” pod and put “IT” in the machine.
I am like that. I follow rules. I believe in rules. I think they are necessary and when I make a rule, I want it to be followed, so I am very respectful when other people make rules. Also, I do not like to be in trouble. I do not like getting yelled at. I did not like sitting in time out. I do not want to lose my job or go to jail or even pay a speeding ticket, so for me it is much easier to just follow the rules.
Carrying a gun often puts the things I value and believe in conflict.
One of those being, I believe I should be able to to carry my gun where ever I go and I believe that I am safer and my family is safer if I do so, but of course, there are laws that prevent me from doing so.
I hate having to make the choice between protection and the law, but for me the choice is not to break the law.
Knowing that I can not carry in certain places left me feeling vulnerable and a bit paranoid about going to those places and since I do not like living in fear, I had to come to terms with this reality.
For me, it became a matter of balance.
I am patently aware that crime happens everywhere and to all kind of people. It happens to children and woman and people of faith. It happens to the elder and the infirm. It happens in nice neighborhoods, at fancy restaurants and parks and in places where it is least expected. It happens very often for some random unexplainable reason, which sometimes makes it hard to predict.
Knowing all this is true and how easy it is to be afraid, I have still decided I will not live in fear.
There are a lot of things one can do to prepare themselves not to be a victim, even if they can not have their weapon with them, but as with all things the first is the mind.
I had to find a balance between being in control and having no control. In preparing to defend myself and trusting in the benevolence of the world. In knowing that something catastrophic could happen to me and trusting that it won’t.
I do not know why bad things happen to good people. Sometimes it seems fate is random, but I don’t believe it is.
I can’t explain why little Susie down the street had a loving childhood and I had a childhood full of violence or why hundreds of good, decent men and woman have died in Iraq and my husband didn’t.
I have spent many nights trying to figure it out though and what I have discovered is the why is not as important as the how. The how being: How am I going to deal with all of the dangers and uncertainty of this world without succumbing to it?
I have always valued life and I have hoped that if I can show the man upstairs that I do truly value life, mine and everyone elses, that, that will count for something. I always wear my seat belt. I eat healthy, I work out, I don’t smoke, etc While I can not guarantee that any of this will help me live to 98, it is what I can do, to show that I am doing all I can to ensure a long healthy life and I would very much appreciate a little divine help from above.
That is how I am balancing my life as a person who wishes to carry her gun everyone, but is not allowed to. I carry my gun everywhere I can legally and I train to know how to use it. I do this to show that I take my part of the deal seriously. I am doing everything I can to be realistic and responsible to defend and protect my life and those I love, but in the cases where I can not, I am trusting that someone else, someone bigger, is watching out and protecting me.