Lessons in independence.

I’ll never forget the first time I got a flat tire.   

It was my first year of college.   I was attending school in Utah and driving home to Idaho to visit my family when one of my tires blew out on the freeway.   

I pulled over along the side of the freeway, and cars zooming by, and whipped out my cell phone and called my dad.  

His response was not what I expected.

“Brigitte, I’m sure it makes you feel better to call me right now.  But there’s nothing I can do to help you.   You’re going to have to figure this one out on your own.”

I’ll never forget that experience because it hit me really hard.   I was scared.   I didn’t think I could handle the situation.  I had never changed a flat tire before!    But I knew my dad was right.   No one could help me but ME.   It was time to pull myself up by the bootstraps and FIGURE IT OUT.  

So I figured it out.  

I changed that flat tire alongside the freeway, with cars zooming by, ALL BY MYSELF, and drove myself into town to get a new tire.   

I think that was the first time I felt like a grownup.   

 

This morning, I was reminded of that experience.   

On my way to Phoebe’s field trip, driving down the freeway, I got a flat tire.   

I pulled over along the busy Arizona freeway, and with cars zooming by I called my husband.   I’m pretty sure I haven’t changed a flat tire since I’ve been married.   PRETTY SURE that’s the guy’s job in marriage.  ;)  

Luckily, Jayson was willing to help.    He told me he would drive over in the truck and switch cars with me so I could get to the field trip.   

I sat in the car for a little bit, waiting for Jayson to come.   

And then….. I thought to myself.  “Why am I waiting for Jayson to come change this tire?  I fly planes!!   If I can fly planes I can SURELY change my own flat tire.”

So I got out of the car and went to work.   

 

I found the hidden spare tire which was actually hard to find.  SPECIAL NOTE - if you drive a Honda Odyssey like me your spare tire is behind the driver seat in the middle of the car.  ;)  

I spun the metal rod round and round to lift up the car with the jack, stepped on the lever with my foot to unlock the tight screws, lifted the flat tire off and put on the spare tire.  ALL BY MYSELF.   

I texted my husband to let him know I got it done myself, and I drove to my daughter’s field trip, only 15 minutes late.  :)

 

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And ya know - as silly as it sounds, I felt EMPOWERED.  I felt strong.  I felt tough.  Silly how changing my own flat tire can be so empowering huh?  lol.   

But it got me thinking about a realization I had the other day.   

I use to really struggle with asking for help.  But I’ve actually gotten really good about asking those closest to me for help.  

I have no problem asking Jayson for a SLEW of things to help me.  AND I even have some assistants who help me with my business.   

I’ve gotten comfortable knowing there are people around me to support me with my goals.   

But the other day I asked Jayson for help with something and he said he couldn’t.   Before you think he’s a jerk, know he couldn’t help me for totally legitimate reasons.  Guess he has a life outside my to-do list.  ;)   

But I felt a rush of anxiety when he said he couldn’t help me.   It was weird how much that affected me.  So I did what I always do when my mind is rushing with thoughts —> I journaled out my feelings. 

 And in doing so I realized something powerful.    

I realized Jayson not being able to help me in that moment was RAW for me because it reminded me of experiences in my life when people have let me down.  Times people haven’t shown up for me when I needed them most.   Times I have felt very very ALONE.   

But the takeaway doesn’t need to be I can’t trust people and I can’t count on other people.  The takeaway is…… 

 

Sometimes people don’t show up for us the way we want them to so we can discover what we are truly capable of.  

 

YES it’s important that I know I can ask for help.   But when someone can’t help me, or doesn’t show up for me the way I need them to…. it’s an OPPORTUNITY.  

An opportunity to see what I’m capable of.  

Cuz God must know I CAN do that thing by myself!   So it’s a gentle reminder, a fun little challenge, to test my {self imposed} limits and discover the limitless bounds of my abilities.   

I mean think about it……

If people had ALWAYS shown up for me - I never would have stopped relying on them.   

If people had ALWAYS shown up for me throughout my life - I wouldn’t have learned what I was capable of.   

We come into this world as babies, dependent on our parents for EVERYTHING.   There has to be a process of learning the truth of ….. I *can* feed myself.   I *can* dress myself.  I *can* take care of myself.  

Sometimes, the process of learning that TRUTH comes through hard painful experiences.   

But I think it’s all intended in love.   To teach us ….. WE CAN DO HARD THINGS.   We are stronger than we realize.

 

We’re all in this together.   We CAN help one another along the way.   But there can be PEACE & GRATITUDE for the times people HAVEN’T shown up for us…… cuz in that we learn what we are TRULY capable of.   

Just remember that girl…. next time you’re stuck alongside a busy freeway with a flat tire…. Maybe it’s be an opportunity to see what you’re capable of, an opportunity to feel EMPOWERED.   ;)