Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Behind the wheel

So the other night thanks to a conversation about driving a “big rig” and wanting to be a race car driver I had some very interesting dreams. All made even more exciting due to the fact of my brakes not working in each dream. Most of which involved me heading down a hill towards an airport while driving a “big rig” like a race car driver. I have always been a, what some would say, BAD driver. I think I am a good driver. I mean …. Whom else can take a pick-up truck onto two wheels while going about 90 mph around a sharp curve? ME, or course. And my passenger, well, may be in need of new shorts but the driver just pulls her baseball cap down a little tighter and keeps on speeding!

Back to the point ….So in my free time while being sick the past two days I started thinking about those dreams. Some people believe dreams are always trying to tell you something. When I think about driving that tractor-trailer I can only think that the vessel represents all that makes me who I am. My past, hopes for the future, the stress I carry for others, and all the tasks I take on that weigh me down. And how maybe the dream was telling me it’s time to unload or get rid of some of that weight. Yes, all from a little conversation before bed, right?

Don’t get me wrong. I am proud of who I am. Where I am going. And those I have been fortunate enough to give a ride to along the way. BUT I can only think about how I felt in those moments of panic when the breaks didn’t work. Thinking about how bad all those things crashing forward would feel. Losing control of it all could NOT be a good thing. Now lately in my life I have taken a few measures to actually take care of myself…. before others. Doing this action, which normally comes easy for most people, makes me feel like the most selfish person in the world. But I do understand that taking on other people’s problems has caused my load to become too heavy for me. As I get older I have realized that by “being there” for everyone who needed me I have sabotaged relationships and my future success at certain points in my life. I will admit there were days so full that I laid down to sleep and thought, "oh I didn't eat today". But how do I say no? How do I keep to the road and not get off track helping someone who has always been able to depend on me. A close friend the other day told me he felt that if I continued being there for certain people I would actually be doing them more harm than good. I guess when you keep falling into the same hole over and over again, why would you ever learn to go around it if there is always that hand to help you? Again, how do I say no?

I have always been the friend to get out of bed at 3am to answer the phone, the relative to go out into the dark night to help family, the Godmother to put all things aside for a 13 year old who got into trouble, the stranger who sat on the side of the road with an elderly woman so she would not be alone, and the driver to hand over my fast food order at the red light to a homeless person, because he truly looked hungry. I will always be this person. Always. (that was all in just a one week span). So I have to figure out how to still be “there” and yet trade this "big rig" in for something smaller, with room for a passenger (preferably one who loves me) and a back seat for a kid (or two) one day.

And yet …. In the middle of typing this my phone rang. Someone needs me.

Maybe I just need to find a partner who will understand that I must save the world whenever possible. If I wore a mask & a cape, would it help? .....

oh and I never analyzed the driving to the airport portion of my dream …..I wonder where I was going? Somewhere sunny I hope!


~Tom~ said...

Oh boy...I have been in your shoes. I used to stress out over not helping when asked. In the end I would end up doing what they wanted anyway and then I would suffer. I actually went to help out at a job that was not mine while I had pneumonia! Simply because I allowed myself to be guilted into it.

For me it took therapy to learn that I can say the word, "NO" It comes down to this simple fact. You can always say "yes" and build up resentment, which in turn piles up and pushes a wedge between you and people. Or you can say "no" Sure, the other person may be a little miffed but trust me, they get over it. In the meantime, you may feel a little guilty but, you will also feel a little relief. After awhile people stop relying on you all the time.

It was the greatest lesson I have ever learned. I am mentally and physically healthier now.

Anything Fits a Naked Man said...

Can I just tell you that I LOVE the fact that you sat with that elderly lady and gave your fast food to the homeless guy? I don't agree with your friend, I don't think you're doing them more harm than good. I think you're renewing their faith in humankind, that compassion and decency still exists.

No need for a mask and cape, you're already a superhero!!

Colleen Courtney said...

Dreams are always so interesting!

Jeany said...

Yess,,people always need you honey

timethief said...

Learning how and when to say "no" is the hardest lesson I have ever had to learn. Until I learned it life kept presenting that lesson to me again and again and again. Now and then I forget the lesson but not for long.

Sending you love from way up here in Canada,

Kris said...

You're a superhero.

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