I was in my senior year of trade school when I took a drive to Bossier City, Louisiana. I wanted wind chimes outside of my apartment in Minden. All of the beautiful chimes were out of my budget range. I went home empty handed. On my way back home to Minden, I was in the left lane passing a slower moving car over a hill when I was T-boned on the passenger side of my car. I was rattled by the experience; but I had survived and I was grateful that the situation was not worse.
My husband, Cameron, and I moved to the city of Baton Rouge in 2015 and started our family in 2016. We knew we were going to need a bigger vehicle than what our hatchbacks could provide. We decided to bite the bullet and trade in both of our vehicles to use as a down payment for a bigger ride: the Honda CRV. We went from “this is my car” to “this is our car.”
What I didn’t realize when we made this decision was how hard it was going to be for me to let someone else drive me around. When we’d come to an intersection, I would look around to make sure it was okay for us to pass. When we passed vehicles on the interstate and I saw someone behind us, I’d ask “Why didn’t you just wait for them to pass you before trying to pass this car?” I’d tell him things like “brake lights ahead,” “slow down,” and “watch out.” I was becoming a real nag and I’m sure it didn’t put our son at ease. My husband decided that I should drive us everywhere to keep the peace.
I was content with his decision for quite a few years when I was struck by a conversation about trust. By telling my husband every nit-picky thing wrong I found with his driving, I was telling him that I didn’t trust him. I needed to be honest with myself about why I was uncomfortable with him driving. I was scared of the accident that happened back in school. I was terrified of the idea that my family could suffer from a different fate if we were in a car accident. I wanted to be in control because of this fear.
Franklin D. Roosevelt eloquently once said: “The only thing we have to fear is fear itself.” I realized that this fear I held was causing pain in my relationship with my husband. I vowed that the next time we were to go somewhere, that I would let Cameron take the driver’s seat. When he did, I was still uncomfortable. I made a conscious effort to not criticize and would instead look out the window. I started to notice little businesses that were “tucked away” that I never knew were there. Little boutiques and restaurants that caught my eye would be placed on my “check this place out” list.
As I continued this trust exercise, I reminded myself that there’s freedom in letting go of fear. By trusting that my husband wanted to get us safely where we needed to be, I could be at peace. If I hold on to this truth, there’s no telling what I’ll be ready to take on next – maybe I’ll ride a roller coaster! For now, I’m letting my husband take the wheel.