“I’m not afraid of storms for I’m learning how to sail my ship.” – Louisa May Alcott
Whenever someone compliments me to my mother, she always says the same thing. “She’s the captain of her own ship; she’ll sink or swim by the choices she makes.” While Mom thankfully didn’t stick to this axiom when I was actually learning to swim, she spent a lot of my growing up years empowering me to be a person who could take responsibility for herself. Mom was always a mighty example of strength, as she raised my brother & I on her own, & instilled in me the feeling that as long as I could learn, I could do anything.
This week’s AN52 thing is a bit of a double whammy which wouldn’t have had two parts without my mom’s influence. The first part of it was getting a flat tire. I’ve been pretty blessed to have been driving for almost a decade & the worst automotive issue I’ve had was a hose popping off (& since it was pretty obvious where it detached from, I just put it back on). But this Tuesday, I was going down the highway when a car ahead of me pull over quickly. A little while later, a sound like trains on a railroad track filtered through the windows. I wasn’t sure what it was, but I didn’t feel any pull in the steering. Since I’d never had a flat before, I wasn’t quite sure, but the smell of burnt rubber was the clincher.
After pulling into a small parking lot, I got out the jack, wrench, & spare that my brother had so wonderfully made sure I had (what a guy :)). He’d given me a quick run down & with the auto care section from high school Driver’s Ed, I felt pretty comfortable with the process. With a bit of trial & error & a phone call to my brother, I still wasn’t having any luck getting the lug nuts off. It was tempting to give in & ask some of my guy friends for help. & my inner damsel in distress was extra distressed that no chivalrous sir stopped to help. I kept hoping for another way out, but my brain also kept asking, What if I were totally alone with no one to help me? What if I were my only hope?
I’m proud to say that with a little re-maneuvering & some bruised palms, I did it. I changed a tire all by myself—AN52 thing #2. I put the spare on, drove off & am currently in the process of getting replacement tire(s), which is not great fun, but it is part of being an adult. Getting a flat was a serendipitous reminder that even though things get hairy, I can handle it. I can play the damsel, but I can fight some dragons as well. I can captain the ship, but I can fix the flats too 🙂