Life gets so busy. Jobs, families, friends. We all have so many obligations and we stretch ourselves in a million different directions. It’s no wonder that we get lost somewhere in the chaos. When I was making major life decisions about ending my marriage a couple of years ago, I began to doubt my own judgement. And that’s where the trouble began.
I had climbed in underneath my blanket of denial for a long time, so that I could remain in my dysfunctional marriage. Without feeling dysfunctional. That didn’t happen. I got dysfunctional right along with the marriage. I had stopped believing my internal voice. Instead of trusting myself to know what’s best for me, I gave my power to my then husband. He had his own agenda in the marriage. It was more of a business arrangement than a marriage. In all fairness, everyone has their own reasons for getting married and we were no different.
I got so busy in the daily routines and the obligations and expectations, that I didn’t have time to think things through. Nor did I trust what I was thinking. As I listened to my husband I began feeling buried deeper and deeper. I reached out to friends who each had their own opinions, based upon their own perceptions from outside of my marriage. It was a recipe for disaster.
The disaster happened when I woke up one day and didn’t recognize my life. It wasn’t anything I had planned on. The switch was flipped. I was living on auto-pilot. I had no control over my life as I’d known it. None. I knew how to drive. I could steer and everything. I just wasn’t steering my life. It was in free fall.
I lost my voice. My direction. I stopped listening to myself and instead trusted others to know what was better for me. I was listening to what everyone thought was right for me. So I was still giving my power. But this time to friends. I was too afraid to mess up. Too afraid to make any decisions for fear of making the wrong ones.
Recently I realized, (like today), that although my friends and family are wonderful They still aren’t me. And in spite of their love and best intentions, they may not have the right answers for me. I appreciate all of their warm-hearted efforts. I know they are helping at my request. But it’s time for me to pull up my big girl panties and figure it out on my own. So life being what it is… handed me a trial this afternoon. My car decided to chime in for a bit of attention. Actually it choked. I had just had an oil change and tire rotation over the weekend. I thought it had gotten its regularly scheduled attention at the garage. I didn’t expect to hear anything from it til it needed yet another tank of gas. But the engine light went on and the engine went off. Fortunately, I managed to get it started again.
I pulled into the car dealership. The guy behind the counter, Dale, greeted me with a smile and asked me how my day was. I told him that depended completely on what answer he had for me today. A knowing grin appeared on his face. He nodded as I explained completely in ‘girl’ car terms. Of course I act out, in full detail, the noises and feels that I’ve noticed along with the tell-tale dashboard light that came on. Another nod and smile as he reached out for my keys. I reluctantly handed them over.
I walked into the leather-couched waiting area and slid across the wide seat til my short little legs were sticking straight out across the smooth leather of the seat. I felt like Lilly Tomlin’s Edith Ann, but remembered my big girl panties pulled up tight. My first thought was that I should call someone. But I refrained and didn’t. I instead managed the big leather chair and the conversation that will drop me $500 for a new EF filter and overflow coolant bottle that was apparently leaking. Maybe my eyes were more like Edith Ann’s though because yet another guy, said I shouldn’t drive it. They sent me away in a Courtesy Vehicle. A 2011 Chrysler 200. Just for the record, I hit my head the first two times I got inside.