Isn’t it funny how the simplest of things can blindside or trigger you? For the past 15 days, I’d been participating in an online writing workshop where the theme is Home and I’ve been delving into my childhood and early home life. This is writing that is deeper and more personal than even what I put on my blog and it seems to have made me ripe for triggering.
What I’m about to tell you is a quality First World problem to have. I already know this, okay?
I took my car, a 2014 Mazda 3, into a collision repair shop because something flew up on the freeway Monday morning and caused damage to my right front bumper and fender. I had an appointment set for 8:15 a.m. Wednesday morning and Enterprise Rental was also onsite once I’d turned my car over to the appraiser. The Enterprise representative and I were walking out to the parking lot to get me in my rental of $27.99 a day plus tax. He says to me casually, “That’s your Mazda right?” and I said yes. He said, “Ok great, well we have a Mercedes here for you”, as he points to a silver car I parked next to when I pulled into the parking lot but never even paid attention to. I literally paused in my next step, thinking he must surely be joking. A goddamn Mercedes??? I asked him if he was serious and he said yes. I continued walking towards the car, but I was not happy. Literally, my stomach clenched as I continued forward. I asked him if this was the only thing left on the lot and he said pretty much. So I was stuck with it. The last thing I wanted was to be responsible for a high-end luxury vehicle. He showed me the bells & whistles on it and how to operate enough of them to get me off the lot.
I was tense driving all the way to work and I could not relax. I announced to my co-workers that Enterprise gave me a Mercedes for a rental. They all exclaimed at once since we are all auto insurance claims adjusters. Most of them were worried that the cost of the rental was extra. I assured them it wasn’t. I lamented to them and a few of my other work friends throughout the day. I’m a Mazda kind of girl, not a Mercedes or BMW or Lexus kind of girl! In the afternoon I got an alert from the collision shop to tell me the repairs would take an additional seven days. This meant another week in the damn car! When I complained about that, they mostly laughed at me, amused at my perceived dilemma so I stopped talking about it. As I said, I know its a quality First World problem. At the end of the workday, I walked out across the empty parking lot toward my luxury rental. It’s really lovely and simple, not too big and certainly not the fancier more expensive E-class or S-class. I got in and tried to familiarize myself with the bells & whistles I knew how to use. I found the outlet to plug in my cell phone charger and tried to sync the car’s Bluetooth to my Samsung Galaxy S8 but it wasn’t having it no matter what I tried. I finally pushed the button to start it and began the completely smooth, badass ride home. I have a 50-minute commute and I relaxed after the first ten so that left time to think about just why I was so against driving a vehicle like this for a little while.
I began to think and realize I already felt raw emotionally from all the personal writing I’d been doing about my childhood of late. Reliving the loneliness I felt as a dark-skinned homely little girl when such things mattered and weren’t considered good. I’d also been stressed out about an increase in our workload in my department and how demoralizing it felt to fall behind with my work. I remembered someone told me earlier that they’d never driven a Mercedes before. I realized I hadn’t either and I’m at the ripe old age of 50. It hit me after I’d relaxed and started to enjoy the ride that all the resistance to the Mercedes was because I didn’t feel worthy to drive such a car. When I said I’m a Mazda kind of girl, what I meant was I didn’t deserve a luxury vehicle. Which made me sad and upset. Sad because I deserve anything that God or Life sees fit to put into it or in front of me, including a Mercedes C300 for eight days. Mad because this world already has so many systems in place to make me feel small, but here I was making myself feel small and unworthy as well. I couldn’t believe this was underneath all my gruff, resentful dismay at having the use of a luxury car! It’s started me thinking of other ways I tend to make myself small and feel unworthy such as my writing and my yoga. I’m a writer, but am I good enough to do what I want with it or where God and Life will lead me with it? I’m a yoga teacher but will I be good enough to do what I want with it?
Goddamn, there’s always more to uncover and work on isn’t there? All this over a damn rental car! Despite what I may feel, I’ve worked hard over the years. I’ve worked hard on my self, my life, my writing and my yoga. All of which leads me to an essential truth. I am enough, in any given situation, no matter the circumstance.