First off, a funny story! Recently on Facebook I was invited to an event called the “Empty Streets Movement.” On a certain date, everyone was invited to quit driving for a day in support of World Environment Day. The description talked about it being a sacrifice, but a sacrifice worth making. Once I realized what it was, I was overcome with a fit of giggles.
Sure, I’ll attend! That shouldn’t be a problem, considering I don’t have my license and have done it pretty much every day of my life so far.
In case you were wondering: yes, it was a sacrifice, but it was a sacrifice I was willing to make for the betterment of mankind.
So I guess there is a positive to me not driving yet: I’m saving trees. Which is bad news for the dendrophobes out there!
Actually, I did go driving on Saturday, which makes it three days so far that I’ve successfully driven and faced my fear. A small number, but a number nonetheless! At this point, I’m a little disappointed in myself, but also re-energized. My goal was to begin this year driving at least three days a week, and I’ve come nowhere near that goal yet. It’s a little embarrassing to say I’ve only gone driving three times when it should be more like nine, but I also feel pretty good. Although it’s hard to see it on the outside, on the inside, I’ve been making progress.
I’m determined to make a change. I can see myself conquering my fear, and want to, which is something I couldn’t say before. So if you guys are praying, keep it up, because they’re working! I appreciate everyone’s support so much, and I’ll need it until this fear gets beat!
It also feels so, so good to be doing something about my fear. Instead of ignoring the problem, I’m addressing it. I’m fighting it rather than just living with it-if only a few days at a time. I feel like I can hold my head high even when people look at me like I’m the weirdest thing since ET, because I’m trying. I won’t be this way forever. Even though they can’t see it yet, I can, and I know it’s a journey. They see a bump in the road; I see a destination. I guess I don’t feel as helpless as before because I’ve begun to realize that I’m not helpless. I can do something about this fear. And I am.
I realize I have a long way to go. I need to get to those three days a week, so I can eventually get to seven. That’s why the next couple of weeks I’m going to really focus on getting those three days of driving in. And mark my words-I’ll get there!
Now that I’ve gotten over that initial hurdle of getting back behind the wheel, it’s time to be consistent and stay with it. That’s probably going to be the toughest part. I’ve made “comittments” before to learn how to drive, only to have them fizzle out a week later. I can’t let that happen again.
That’s part of the reason I put driving on The Fear List. Blogging helps keep me accountable, because I know all y’all are there, anxiously awaiting my updates like the news from a presidential election! (Just joking. I know I’m way cooler than any president.) It’s funny, though… when it was just driving, I was not motivated at all. When I’m driving so I can write about it, suddenly I’m motivated! Add writing, and I’m in.
Saturday’s drive went really well. My dad took me on a new route I’d never driven before. It was a really nice, really pretty change of scenery. It was a lot of fun going somewhere new, but the topper was having my dad feel comfortable enough to let me on the highway. That was really exciting. That’s the first time I’ve ever seen my speedometer get up to 75! I felt more like an actual driver, and like I’d accomplished something and was making progress. Later, a police car went whizzing past me-note: past me, to pull someone over who wasn’t going the speed limit. I could have been the one being pulled over! But luckily, I wasn’t the problem driver this time. I was dutifully going the speed limit!
So Saturday held a few accomplishments for me, which is good. All I gotta say? Mario Andretti ain’t got nothin’ on me!
… Well, except for that little thing about “impressive driving skills.” But other than that!
Fear Tip: My pastor has a favorite saying that goes like this: “The problem isn’t that you’re doing the wrong thing; it’s that you’re doing the right thing, not long enough.” Most people’s problem isn’t that they’re doing the wrong thing-it’s that they’re doing the right thing, but they give up too soon. They give up on their dream, or on continuing to work hard, or praying, or seeing their fear conquered, because it seems pointless. They’re doing the right things, they just quit before they get to their breakthrough. Stay persistent, and remember Elijah. He prayed not once, but seven times for rain to come. And it finally did! (1 Kings 18.)