Thursday, October 15, 2015

Fear of the Repeat

Dear Readers,

Most people are familiar with the adage "those who don't know history are doomed to repeat it."  So, when unpleasant things fall upon us, some of us try to learn from it, or some of us try to avoid the situation ever again.  I fell under the latter recently.

After going into a really important meeting, I was feeling like I was flying.  I proudly walked over to my car, Lorelai.  After sending some hopeful and encouraging text messages to my friends and family who cheered me on, I got in Lorelai and started to back up.  When I went to shift into first gear, the stick shift wasn't in the normal groove that it needs to be to go into the gears.  The stick shift would only go back and forth, with a sense of ease that began to seem like a middle finger to all of my previous positive thinking.

For about twenty minutes I spent time trying to figure out what the problem was, before AAA arrived.  Right when three people came to help me move my car, my last ditch effort at finagling with the gear shift allowed it to go back into the necessary groove to finally get my car to move.

After thanking everyone for their help, and driving away with my tail between my legs, I parked my car back home and began to fear Lorelai.  Once again, she became a symbol of fear and unpredictability, and I felt like I was the only person to blame for her betrayal.  Did I shift too hard?  Was I not as gentle as I should have been?  Did I actually pull it out?  All of these things were essentially saying:  "Et tu, Lorelai?"

So, understandably, my next few trips driving were slightly hesitant.  Because I didn't want to cause the stick to come out of place again, it was as if I'd forgotten how to drive my car, and I was a manual neophyte.  While on the road, I could smell my clutch burning, see the hand on the RPM meter rise and fall like rain drops (or tears, either one), and instead of actually shifting into gears, I would inadvertently end up in neutral too many times than I would like to admit.

Instead of remembering the solution to the problem, I was too busy worrying about not having the problem happen ever again.  The issue with that thinking/acting/driving, was that it was beginning to create another host of car problems, especially if I continued to drive the way that I was.

On my way back home, I took a deep breath and reminded myself that though the other day's car folly was frustrating, and embarrassing, I couldn't allow it to stop me from getting back on the road.

Knowing the mistakes of the past can definitely shape the decisions that we make for our future.  But, worrying about those mistakes can be just as detrimental to our future than not learning from our past.  Once you allow your fear to stop you from letting history repeat itself, that's when you stop making history, period.

Stay Encourage.

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