Thursday, September 13, 2012
When I was a sophomore in college the transmission dropped in my 1979 Ford LTD station wagon. I heard a thunk but didn't notice a thing until I tried to go in reverse. The engine revved but we went nowhere. "Well, that's new," I thought.
Unfazed, I put the car in drive and off we went. Forward.
My mother, always seeking the silver lining, decided that this would be a perfect life lesson. Never go backwards. Live your life in a way that you are always moving forward.
So for months I did just that. I planned ahead with regards to parking, dead end streets and obviously three point turns became out of the question. It was challenging at times but just in the way that you learn to get up somehow for that 8:00AM class, I did it.
Until one day, I pulled into the lot in front of my apartment building and I couldn't find a spot. Someone had parked in the fire lane and I had no through-way. There was no wiggle room. No way to turn around. I was stuck.
In true college-drama fashion, I FREAKED out. Ranting and raving like a lunatic about the unfairness of the situation. Screaming and crying about how late I was going to be and the devastation that this particular inconvenience was causing in my already very stressful college life. (^read^sarcasm^here^)
I called my mother. "That is it!!!" I wailed into the phone, "I have to get my car fixed. This is crazy! A person can't just always go forward?!?!? You have to go backwards sometimes!!!!"
"I have every faith that you'll work it out." Was her calm reply.
And you know what, I did.
I knocked on doors and sought help from friends. It took a long time but we finally did get my car out of the wedge.
I think back to those months that I spent without reverse. I remember them fondly. They built a little character. Gave me some great stories. But most of all they really did teach me a good lesson about moving forward.
Going backwards is the easy fix. Anyone can throw it in reverse to get themselves out of a jam. It takes patience to seek out the other solutions to a problem. To move through a situation, slowly, deliberately, to right the wrong. And most often you can't do it alone.
We are all quick to turn around and point out all the mistakes, all the hurts, the wrongs, that brought you to the place you are in. Monday morning quarterbacking is easy, it's showing for the next practice that takes all the guts.
Brewed by Erin Robell at 9/13/2012 03:28:00 PM