I have a weird relationship with cars.
Cars feel safe to me. To me a car is a contained space, with door locks, temperature controls, whatever music I want to listen to, even a sunroof for a beautiful day.
Windows that roll up and down, the opportunity to interact with the outside world, but under my control, my push of the button, my choice.
My mom drove us around from school to activities to sports when I was a child.
In between school and gymnastics, mom would park the car, and we would catch a quick nap before I went into the gym and practiced gymnastics with as much effort as I could muster for 4 hours.
When I started driving, I would catch a nap in my car before gymnastics practice.
I've spent a lot of time driving in various cars - with and without friends and family, in and out and through different states.
In Haiti, I didn't have a vehicle to drive for the first 7 months I lived there. I was dependent on my Haitian brothers to drive me places. I was stripped of all control - what I ate, where I lived, my independence, coping mechanisms, normalcy, the ability to communicate (language barrier), and being understood. So much change, so many losses, so much adjustment, so much courage required.
I drove a ministry vehicle from Texas to Florida in January of 2016 and finally started driving it in March (it was in customs) of that year.
My car in Haiti quickly became my mode of independence. My escape from living in a guesthouse with 20 other people, my escape from work, my freedom, my control.
Driving in Haiti is a slightly horrifying thing sometimes but I braved the elements in order to meet other people, spend time with friends, grocery shop, run errands for the clinic, and refill my soul.
(Think white girl driving a big black old GMC Yukon navigating the streets, pot holes, and traffic jams of Haiti). Yes, I felt like a total badass.
I still have anxiety thinking about driving in Haiti.
Even now in my life my car is a safe space for me. I can leave where I'm living and drive in my car, by myself, without anyone watching. I can control the temperature, control my interactions with the outside world, and I can go to a place that has cell phone service and make all the calls and communication I want to! (I don't have cell phone service where I live and the internet service isn't the best....)
Sometimes it's good to have control. It's good to have freedom. Cars are an incredible privilege that many in the world will never own. "Climatization" (or temperature control) is a beautiful thing and damn was it hot the summer in Haiti my AC went out and my passenger side window didn't roll up or down.
But... And... there are moments in life we have to get out of the car. We have to go to gymnastics practice and face our fears, conquer that skill, fall and fall again until learning the skill on the 100th try.
We have to get out of the car and face the scary unknown world of another country, culture, way of life, temperature, social system, and color.
In my life right now I've been sitting in my car. I've been finding stable ground for the first time in a while and after a big transition from Haiti back to the states. I've been focusing on me by reading, writing, learning, resting, listening, and healing. I have a dream of writing a book, of telling my story, of sharing the tension, the joy, the pain. The story of a normal girl working a normal job in Dallas, TX who moved to a foreign country and was completely undone, shaped into the new person I am today.
I've been sitting in my car, in my comfort, in my control, talking about this idea, learning about this dream, gathering information, and staring out the window at this dream.
It's time to get out of the car. It's time to face the fear of failure. It's time to reach for the handle and take the first step. It's time to get brave and draw deep on the courage that I know is within me because I've found it several times before in my life. It's time to take a brave step and commit to brave steps daily. Because living brave doesn't mean we don't live without fear, it means we face the fear, stare it right in the face, and do the thing we're scared of.
If I can get in that black Yukon and drive all through the country of Haiti (often by myself) I can write down my story and share it with the world.
Mez and I in front of the black Yukon I fondly named "Black Beauty"