Recently, I accomplished something I never thought possible. I drove to Chicago, a 4.5 hour trip, by myself. This is a ‘thing’ for a few reasons. I am what is nicely(?) referred to as a nervous person who has led a relatively sheltered life. I didn’t drive until I was 21 and even then it was minimal. Before the trip to Chicago, the furthest I’d driven was 1.5 hours. Even though it has been almost five years since my last car accident, I find myself very nervous when considering a trip over an hour long.
This nervousness could be read as a lack of confidence. I’ve found that I stopped myself from doing a number of things because I’d forget that I’m a capable person. I am fortunate to have a spectacular support system made up of people who are willing to help my memory. I received few pep talks, pieces of advice, and positive affirmations before I got into my car on that Thursday. They all helped.
In order to further boost my confidence and combat my nerves, I went on a responsible campaign before the trip. I filled my gas tank, I got my car serviced and I bought AAA roadside service. I checked Google Maps multiple times and I bought ten dollars worth of quarters. I emailed my supervisor and co-worker to offset any last minute work matters that might occur in my absence. By the time morning came, I was proud of myself and prepared.
The road trip itself had phases. After the first hour, I found myself enjoying the journey. I felt in charge and adult. It was amazing. I had a friend in Google Maps and Spotify. The weather worked with me and even the traffic worked with me. The rest stops weren’t many but they were clean. There were times that I got bored and times that required deep breaths. There was one point on the way there that I took a wrong turn and saw some deer. It was not a perfect ride. By the time I arrived in Chicago, I was frazzled and tired but I was also a person capable of driving to a different state. That feeling was just one of a few things for which I became grateful during that trip.