Growing myself up is requiring me to get real about doing things I don’t like to do. Sounds pretty basic, and I’ll just expose myself and be vulnerable. It’s supposed to help with my healing. Today I headed out to work and discovered that my car had a flat tire. That alone is startling because I have had someone watching those things for me most of my life. I have not been accustomed to even paying attention to that sort of thing. So I am a little shocked that I even noticed that the car was not driving as usual. I was a block or so from my house, and once I determined that my tire was flat, I turned around and drove home. I asked my dad to help me with the tire, which he did. Once given the go-ahead of tire inflated and no visible nails or screws in the tire, I headed out for the second time. Alarming noises prompted my stopping once again, checking on the tire, and deciding that turning around was the best move. Ugh.
Previously, this is when I would have called Tony to let him know that the car had issues and he needed to handle this. I knew this was not a healthy option to take, even if Tony is still willing to handle it. My dad was ready to resume his previous cartaker role. After all - car issues? Not my gig. Headache in the making. Temper-tantrum temptation. So at that possibility, the thought bubble read, “Yes, Dad, rescue me! Take care of it! Gladly! Go, Papa! My hero!” And the next bubble read, “Wait a minute, Sister. This doesn't look like adult behavior!" And the last, "Shoot. I’m going to have to deal with this myself. Grow up, Sara.”
A few hours later upon driving away from the dealership complete with a new tire, I reflected on this growth lesson. I handled it. I didn't have a meltdown. The car is fixed and I'm returning to work. I was ready for a billboard to be erected in my honor. I had just dealt with the kind of stuff I dread. I have had someone (ok, it has almost always been a man) to take care of these horrid events for most of my life. Even in college when I didn't have my dad in town, I called him and he walked me through the ordeal handling most of the decision making. Faced with this today, he was still willing to take it on. Maybe it is kind of dad thing, but I’m not in college anymore and it is a caretaker thing. This is not life or death stuff, so I just needed to handle it and quit my codependent behavior!
I think taking a little deeper look at this has some value. What was my problem anyway? What was I fearing? Feelings check: Shame. From what? Failure. I had allowed the men in my life to make many of the decisions in my life because I was afraid of making the wrong ones. With the sense of failure comes the feeling that I am less than what I should be. What if I spent money on a tire that I didn't need? What if I drove the car and caused further damage to the car? What ifs… It seems this fear of failure was all about financial ramification. Can I not make a decision and just live with the consequence of my choice? Who gets to pronounce me a failure but myself anyway? No one! I am certainly not a failure. My gauge for success today is" just doing it" through handling the car needs. Growing up is of more value to me than the cost of a tire or car repair!