Do you remember the game, Where in the World is Carmen San Diego? It’s from back in the 90’s and it was my favorite. Maybe second favorite to Oregon Trail, but I always seemed to die from dysentery in that game, and there was no dying in Carmen San Diego, so that is probably why it scored the most favorite game status.
With the Carmen San Diego game, well she was always up to no good and you had to find her. There would be clues left in certain parts of the country, globe and I think they even had within the universe as one spin off to the original. If you got the clue right, you were sent to find the next clue to track down where this globe traveling woman was and what mischief she was up to. It was a simply intriguing game, one where I spent hours playing as an older child/early teen.
When speaking with my mother just the other morning I was lamenting about how anxiety (and some depression) was keeping me from being who I wanted to be and who I knew I could be, but just wasn’t there. She suggested that I look at the world like Carmen San Diego. To look at each day as an adventure. That she never knew where she was going to be from one moment to the next, but she just kept at it, kept going, kept traveling, kept on the adventure.
My mother challenged me to write about it, so here I am, writing about it. It took me several days, but I am finally feeling what she was sharing with me.
I had a roller coaster day today. I was pushed way outside my comfort zone on a few occasions and things were changing by the minute it seemed and I thought I was going to lose it. But then I thought about what my mother had shared with me and I chose to make an adventure out of it. I also used a new mantra that I came up with: “I am going to show up and do my best, and when in need I will ask for help.” The two together made me unstoppable.
This mantra (and wanting to be like Carmen San Diego) helped me navigate unsure and unsteady waters today and now I feel so accomplished. I feel like I was able to resume the body of the way I used to handle projects and problems: with confidence.
I have been lacking in confidence since the bipolar diagnosis in 2016. I felt that I was wounded and disabled. And it does not help that every few months I have a blip and I spiral down (or up) and it takes me a while to rebalance. But the fact of the matter is I always get back on track and today I found Carmen San Diego. There was no big balloon drop or even confetti, but there was and is a smile on my face. A heart that is not beating out of her chest and no additional anxiety that can be debilitating at times. And today, I did not cry! I was able to handle myself with love and grace.
I owe my mother a big thank you for the worm she put in my head. For helping me see my situation in a different light and for bringing me back to a treasured childhood memory. I owe myself a big thank you for not giving up and not staying in “freeze”. For identifying that I was approaching “freeze” and diverting myself (physically in some respects) so I did not sit and stare at a blank screen. I stayed in motion, much like that whipper snapper Carmen San Diego.
Thanks mom, I love you to the moon and back.