Monday, November 07, 2005

Facing my Fears... Head-on

Over the last week, I did two things that I swore I’d never do: cut my hair off, and drove a car.

Yes, it’s true. I have an unhealthy fear of driving and short haircuts. It all dates back to a couple of scarring childhood experiences: a shearing of mythic proportions at a salon named “Little Princesses” that cut my hair (which was down to my feet) up to my ears - and a head-on collision that left me physically damaged for the last 8 years.

Nevertheless, this past week, I faced those fears head-on (no puns intended) and surprisingly, neither was as horrifying as I’d imagined they would be. In fact, after both instances, I felt a lot better about myself and the world. I had done two things I could never have imagined doing and the results had been relatively successful. (I didn’t cry after either, and amazingly, no one was injured or killed!)

As I sat in the front seat of M’s Chevy, a location in a car I’d boycotted my entire life (even when asked to sit double-parked in case a policeman came– a cause of many a fight with my parents), I kept my foot pinned down to the brake and took a deep breath. “Take your foot off the brake,” M said patiently. “No,” I shot back. “Nan, you have to take your foot off the brake,” he repeated. “No,” I blurted out again, “I have to sit here for a little bit.” I sat waiting. “Nan, come on” M started again, chuckling a little.

Didn’t he realize what a huge deal this was? That I was taking my (not to mention HIS) life into my hands and doing the very thing I swore up and down for 8 years I would never ever EVER do? I had to laugh a little myself. “Will you say a prayer?” I said, turning to him, pressing down even harder on the brake, in an attempt to buy more time. “No, I will not pray about this,” M said, “You know, right now, God is watching this and He’s laughing at you.” He joked. We had a good laugh, but it brought me no closer to moving my foot in any way.

Eventually, I had to give up and take my chances at the wheel which had (perhaps too trustingly) been put in my hands. I let up on the brake and felt the car creeping forward up the road. I held on tight to the steering wheel as though it would fly away if I lost my grip. I felt like a little old lady moving at a snail's pace down the road, clinging to the wheel and turning it ever so slightly to stay within the lines. My first time, I made it up to a massive 25 miles an hour!

What? It was my first time!

On our second attempt, I was more poised. I felt more confident that the car would obey me and I didn’t freak out. Eventually, I got up to 50 miles an hour! There were no casualties! No small animals or children were injured, nor were any trees unnecessarily mowed down! I DROVE and I lived to tell about it.

Who ever would have thought?!

Certainly not me… though I must say that M did not seem altogether surprised. It just goes to show that a little faith goes a long way. In this case, a couple of miles, and as for next time… one can only imagine how far!

25 comments:

mike said...

True..."A little perspective goes a long way" but a automobile does not when you won't let go of the brake. You're the most adoreable driver I've ever seen. I love you!

elizabeth h. said...

Nan,
Congratulations!!! I knew you had it in you! And I CAN'T WAIT to see the new hairstyle this week. Carolyn already told me that it looks amazing!
Woohoo for you!!!

green said...

Conqurering your fears. Very brave. Good for you.

I assume you were the passenger in that head-on collision? Have you fully recovered now, from injuries you sustained in that incident? Sorry for asking & possibly evoking horrible memories for you, but I'm curious now. Answer if you like, but if not I'll just have to remain curious... ;>)

ziggystardust73 said...

Nan, I haven't touched base in a while, and it sounds like your life is looking up!

glad to hear it.

zigs

Corry said...

That took faith. I am so happy for you. It is always better to face your fears then to run from them.

God's Grace.

cybeRanger said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
cybeRanger said...

Perfect love casts out fear...
FEAR means..

False
Evidence
Appears
Real

Mrs The Experience said...

Is the pic on your profile the new hair?

Sycorax said...

Way to go NAN! Got all the way up to about 90km/h! Soooo... Are you going to go for it and get a licence so you can drive all over? (even the half a block to the local store for some gum?) One more question. Did you feel like you had been missing some form of freedom that you never knew about before?

Nunzia said...

ok to answer all your questions :)

1 - yes, the accident was very bad and i was the front passenger. I still go to physical therapy and have already had several surgeries on my spine since. (I'm supposed to eventually have a double fusion but that's on hold for now).. I'll blog on the details one of these days...

2 - yes, the picture is the new haircut... what do you think?? lol

3 - yes, not driving has been a HUGE handicap for me and having the confidence that I'll eventually be a real driver and get my license is more of a relief to me than I could ever put into words!

Sycorax said...

Love the new look Nan! (Actually, I'm not too sure what could make you look bad...) ;)

martie said...

The new picture of you is "adorable". I love your haircut! And congratulations on accomplishing something that has been impossible for you in the past. Hooray for Nan! And M is a dear for being so patient with you!

Kristi said...

Good for you! The only way to get over a fear is to just do it! Which takes a LOT of courage. You go, girl!!

Anonymous said...

Congratulations! I cried (just a little...no laughing) because you wrote the experience so well. Good luck and you are doing so wonderfully. Thanks for sharing your story.

-Tess

Mrs The Experience said...

I LOVE the new 'do!!! Shows off those pretty cheekbones.

~Deb said...

"God has not given us a spirit of fear and timidity, but of power, love and self-disipline." ~2 Timothy 1:7

Never let fear get in the way of your life. :)

Damian said...

It feels good to face your fears and over come them.

Ashley said...

nice haircut! and that's incredibly brave of you to drive after such a huge accident. I would have cried, I'm sure.

crossblade said...

Nan,
you look good in the new haircut :)
and congratulations you got over the car driving fear :)
God bless you!!!!
thomas

crossblade said...

and hey puns??
do you read Shakesphere??
just curious

elmo said...

Cool! u faced your fears successfully....*clap clap hugs*
u look great wif the new hairstyle too! *smiles*

Daniel Levesque said...

If that picture is one of your you with your new haircut then I'd say it's a good thing you faced these fears. It looks wonderful.

www.ravingconservative.com

Kc said...

Just checking in on the web's resident genius. I hope all is continuing to progress as well. ;-)

Rebekah said...

Just wanted to let you know: my blog readers and I have come to a decision - our counter to the Liberal movement to "wear black" and "wear red" on Fridays "until our troops come home", will be "Operation Green shirt/ Yellow ribbon".

On Fridays, to show our support for the troops AND their mission, we will wear green, and to show our hope for them to come home safe, soon, and victorious, we will also wear a yellow ribbon on our lapel or around our wrists.(pictures at my site soon) Please spread the word any way you can! Thanks in advance.

green said...

You okay, nunzia?? No posts in over a week. Is M keeping you busy? *winks at you*