Progress from the Passenger Seat

I wish I could tell you that my shyness was this cute, quirky trait that allowed me to win over my current boyfriend and star in my own rom com.

But it’s not. It’s this debilitating fear of doing anything outside of the ordinary, of pursuing any spontaneity, that makes me toss and turn at night.

Cue a year ago, when I accepted a new job and had to make the long trek into mostly uncharted territory, I was more than terrified. I was paralyzed. Thankfully, my father was kind enough to take me down several routes so that I was ready for this new aspect of my life: commuting. We spent an entire day driving every possible way, him narrating the rough spots, where to merge, when it would be busy. And me, recording everything in my mind.

Fast forward to the next few months when I had to hype myself up just to drive home. I had to talk to myself the entire way so that I kept focused and concentrated through all of the merges and lane switches. I couldn’t turn on the radio, and I couldn’t do it without a GPS. I could have run that car off of my own adrenaline, a fuel line to my heart.

Fast forward even farther to today. My car was in the shop, so my mom was kind enough to take me back and forth (to and fro?). Watching her drive, although she was relatively familiar with the route, I realized how comfortable I had become. Yes, for some reason, watching her drive made me feel like I had accomplished something. But as I dictated the lane switches and rough patches to her, I recognized something.

I realized that I had mastered the route. Sure, people still pull out in front of me. I accidentally pass through yellow lights. I do my fair share of lip syncing. But I have gained more confidence on the road and in life because of this.

So, the next time you are not sure if you have been progressing, if you aren’t sure if you are moving forward, don’t look at the speedometer. Get out of the driver’s seat and have a look for yourself.

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