So I’m a bit of a control freak. Many of you know this about me. Many of you are laughing at the “a bit of” qualification I included in there. But for those of you who don’t know, I’m a bit of a control freak.
I am totally capable of letting go of things. I let other people plan trips, cook meals, do projects – all kinds of stuff, really – without my input. But for the most part this means without any of my input. If I’m going to make decisions about something, I want to make all the decisions. If I’m involved, I want to be in charge. Or, alternatively, I want to take no responsibility. None. I’ll still help, but I want you to do all the thinking.
The extremes in which I live are going to come up a lot in this blog. This is only one of many.
This tendency of mine manifests in all kinds of ways, but most relevant for today is that yesterday I drove a 10 foot UHaul truck from Alexandria, VA to Boston, MA, all by myself. Kelly came with me, but she wasn’t allowed drive, because she’s under 25. If she had been allowed to, I would have had to let her because driving 12 hours up the coast by yourself in a truck you’ve never driven before is CRAZY.
But when we were talking about her maybe driving anyway, she said, “I will let you be the passenger seat driver you’ve always wanted to be.”
My sister is a smart, responsible person. But there is exactly one person I am truly comfortable being in the passenger seat of a car with, and that’s my dad. Kelly, wonderful sister that she is, knew I would never be able to sit in that seat without clutching and pretend braking and passenger seat instructing, and she was willing to save us both a lot of grief by just letting me do it.
Driving the truck, of course, did get easier the further into the trip we got. There were even stretches of highway where I dropped my hands from the 10-and-2 position, where my hands probably never even make it when I’m driving a reasonably sized car.
There are so many things you can’t control when you’re driving – the weather, other people, small animals, traffic lights – that being in control of the car is vital to your mental well being. In a 90% empty truck, there was so much that felt out of my control, from the gut churning bounces to the appropriate speed to curve ratio. I never felt like I could truly relax. I was never quite sure what the damn thing was going to do.
Kelly was a superstar the whole day. I would have probably just ended up living in the truck on the side of the road in Manhattan if it hadn’t been for her. And really this blog post should probably end on some note about learning to let go of control or how support from people who love you allows you to loosen up.
But lets be honest. It’s mostly about how me, my sister, and a 10-foot truck all made it to Boston yesterday, thanks to Google maps and my fierce white knuckling.