So….today found me behind the wheel of a car….the steering wheel, that is.
The concept of me actually driving hasn’t come up in about 4 years, so it was a bit of a surprise when the opportunity presented itself. But since they don’t believe in alternative forms of transportation here, it was bound to come up one of these days.
On a semi-related note, I’ve been working on my ability to say “no”, to not agree to things that make me uncomfortable/unhappy/stressed/whatever, to react in my own manner instead of how I think other people want me to react.
So back to the driving incident…
I was happily enjoying the comfy chair at Starbucks, the reward for a long energetic walk down the trail, when I got a call from my sister. With the help of a friend, she had delivered her car to the shop for whatever it is you do at the shop. But after getting the call that the car was ready for pickup, was unable to find someone free to drive her back over there.
I was her last hope. Like Luke Skywalker.
My sister asked me if there was any chance I would consider driving her over in the other car. She knew I would probably be at my SBUX and was in the area. I mumbled something about “maybe” and she promptly showed up to pick me up.
I got in the minivan (passenger side), and immediately started crying!
Panicking at the possibility of maybe driving??
She drove us back over to the house and we sat in her driveway for quite awhile. She brainstormed other ways of getting her car, while I went through tissue after tissue, as my brain processed the situation.
On one hand, I didn’t want to agree to something I was not comfortable with, just because I “should” do it. I didn’t want to feel pressured by obligation – one of my big no-no’s.
But then again, it wasn’t like I didn’t know how to drive. And it was only for a short distance. (Now if it was a road trip to another city, then no, I couldn’t actually, physically, do that because driving puts me to sleep and that’s just dangerous.) But it was only a few miles away, to the shop and back. And I could drive my sister’s Subaru, which would be easier than the big minivan.
So what was the big hairy deal??
I’m scared of this city. It’s a lawless place with dangerous and selfish drivers. I would rather ride a scooter in Big City Asia.
But probably, mostly, I was just freaking myself out at the fear of the unknown. I hadn’t driven a car in years, I didn’t know these streets, or the car, and I didn’t trust the drivers on the road. Great Big Scary Unknown. This was NOT an acceptable reason to say no.
Thankfully my sister was very patient and understanding with my tears and thought process. Never actually pressuring me to just Help Her Out, Dammit!
Finally put on my Big Girl Panties, took a deep breath, and made the oh-so-very-brave decision to Just Do It!
We drove out to the shop, I hopped in the Subaru, figured out what/where everything was, did a test drive around the block to make sure I knew what I was doing, and then we were off!
As soon as I was actually driving, I was fine. No stress. No tears. I followed my sister all the way back to her house and didn’t get lost or run into anything.
It wasn’t until I parked (poorly) and got out of the car, that I realized my hands were shaking. But I was proud of myself for doing something scary, for conquering my fear of that particular unknown.
My sis drove back to work (because she’s a crazy workaholic) and I WALKED the mile down the hill to the nearest pub.
I needed a drink!