You Leaving? Pedro So Sad.

I've been having a lot of trouble lately (note that "lately" in this instance denotes a period of time that is no less than 8 months in length, but no more than 12.) And by "trouble" I mean that I think an awful lot. And before you jump on your soapbox to defend me like the loyal friend that you are, with impassioned cries of "Is there such a thing as thinking too much?" and "That's the sign of a thoughtful person!" — let me assure you that there is such a thing. And I have it. Just like in River City. With a capital T that rhymes with P, that stands for "Pool." Geez, I wish I had a pool. And I wish this app had a little swimmer emoji I could insert here. But, such is life.

I think about everything these days. The details of why are unimportant, but a great deal of emotional pain can do that to you. When we experience that pain, whatever it is, we have to step back and take a deep hard look at how we got to this awful place we've found ourselves visiting, and figure out a route to get us back on track.

I guess if I was going to use a metaphor to help convey what I mean, I'd have you imagine driving through South Carolina and seeing sign after sign for South of the Border (I hope you've heard of it — somehow, it seems that everyone has.)

It looks fun, but everyone who's ever gone has told you it's disgusting. But, somehow, Pedro's friendly face on the billboard pleading for you to "Slow down Amigo!" convinces you that you need to have this experience. Just once.

So you turn off the highway and find yourself in a place that hasn't been painted since its creation, with a fat mountain man in a shirt that has a picture of a woman's ass on it (right above the phrase "Whitetail Hunter") puking up PBRs next to the Tilt-a-Whirl as a little girl watches and weeps for her lost innocence. After fleeing the scene, you bypass the bathroom line that encircles the food court like a snake, avoiding eye contact with wailing men grasping at their beer bellies in gastric, spasmodic panic and women wearing t-shirts ripped to look like shark bites.

"Since we stopped, let's at least buy some fireworks before we leave!" you shout to whomever is with you on this trip from hell. But when you finally get to the fireworks booth, they're closed. Needless to say, you'll think a lot more the next time you decide to make a spontaneous stop on a road trip. Or trust a Mexican. #Trump2016 #AbsolutelySarcastic

So, anyway, I took the emotional version of a road trip to South of the Border, and ended up being very careful about who I let into my life and how. But, the problem is that you can think too much. You can take it too far. You can analyze things so much that you start to scare yourself into not allowing anything in at all. At this point in my life, there is a very exclusive list of people who have my full trust. Most of them have vaginas, and I've seen a couple of them. One, I actually came out of. But, I digress.

And, I'm trying not to be too hard on myself. Because, while I might not be allowing myself the opportunity to travel to the emotional version of Paris, I'm definitely never going back to South of the Border again. So, there's that. It's OK to use your wisdom to make a better life for yourself. It's actually the whole point, and it's a choice every time—keep your eyes closed and keep repeating the same mistakes, or get back in the car, write a bad Yelp review for whatever shit show you just stopped at, and get back on course. But, this time with GPS, because you upgraded.

And, when you think of it that way, a GPS is supposed to help us, not scare us. It's designed to let us relax, knowing we don't have to do anything but drive until the voice tells us to turn. We don't have to overthink our GPS. It's expressly designed for a single purpose—to get you where you want to go as quickly as possible. So, I guess I just need to trust that my guidance system is on and working and will tell me when I need to proceed, or stop, or turn, or recalculate. Right now, it's constantly saying "Turn left!" and I'm like, "But, are you sure? I mean, the last time we turned left, it was a dead end."

And, then, she's like "Bitch, turn left. There are a lot of pretty, shiny things to the left. Geez." And you forget that you've changed the voice for your GPS from "Default" to "Bitchy." And then you turn left.

Because you know you can trust that voice. And you know that the next time you take a wrong turn, you'll go for the fireworks first.


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