"Personal growth is not a matter of learning new information but of unlearning old limits."
~ Alan Cohen
Last week I discovered that I like to drive fast.
Yes, two months before my 40th birthday and I am still learning new and exciting things about myself.
I was driving west on I-10 into Houston with the windows down on a beautiful day and the realization came to me that THIS IS FUN.
Now I can't say that I am a "keep it at 65 mph or below on the freeway (or tollway)" kind of gal but, being the conservative, law-enforcement shy driver I've always been, this was a surprising revelation. Since then a few times on the road I have been the annoying driver who, while still using my turn signals of course, weaves in and out of traffic as fast as I can. The driver I always bitched about.
While I have had one speeding ticket (zero convictions) in my 25 years of driving, my husband has had several and simply considers it "paying for his right to speed". I used to give him a hard time about it. That may not change.
Actress Ellen Muth likes to drive fast, too. She attended the Skip Barber Racing School in Connecticut. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ellen_Muth
Muth is most well known for her starring role in Showtime series, Dead Like Me (2003-04). I recently watched these 30 episodes on Netflix, then the movie by the same title which came out about 5 years later. I really liked the series and was sad that Dead Like Me ended after only 2 years. The movie I could have done without.
Anyway, as I watched the episodes progress I thought I noticed Muth becoming even thinner than her already thin self. I also noticed that her face seemed to show the very swollen cheeks characteristic of someone who is bulimic or has struggled with bulimia. Sometimes called "chipmunk cheeks" (I hate the name), this advanced sign of bulimia is caused when your lymph nodes, salivary glands and parotid glands swell up after a long time of bingeing and purging. I have seen it on friends who have suffered with this disease.
First of all I need to say that I do not know Ellen Muth personally so I also do not know whether or not she is or was bulimic. But I understand trying to have some control in my life through starving my body. From middle school through college and beyond. Sometime in there I also found the magic of alcohol and drugs and sick relationships. My ways of "driving fast" at the time, I guess.
At 39, I'm not immune from the pressure of feeling "not enough" in this society. I know the feelings. I know the fear. I know the anxiety. And while today I don't drink, smoke, take (illegal) drugs, have casual sex, starve my body or eat sugary foods to try to control or escape the anxieties of every day life, I am certainly not some guru of sober peace and happiness. Nope, I'm still human, learning as I go. And sometimes I learn fun new things about myself.
Yep, I like to drive fast. On all 4 little Civic cylinders.
Maybe soon I'll start looking for a place I can do it legally and with a lot more power. Ha!