I hit Lacie’s car in our driveway a few weeks ago. It was 5:30am and darker than I can ever remember when leaving in the morning. I felt and heard my back wheel graze her bumper as I turned in the bend of the driveway.
I jumped out hoping it wouldn’t be bad and I could somehow rub the scuffs off so it wouldn’t be noticeable. You know that hot feeling when something bad has happened but you aren’t sure how bad it’s going to be?
My iPhone flashlight revealed what I was dreading—this one wasn’t rubbing off. I think if a repair person happened to be in my driveway at that moment and could have magically fixed it before Lacie left for work, I would have paid them and left.
Why? Because I seriously hate the feeling of letting someone down or looking stupid. I still worry about what people think about me.
In my mind I’m a responsible, considerate person who is good at driving. I’m not the kind of person who would hit their own vehicle in their driveway like an idiot!
The negative self-talk erupted: “You’re so stupid. You should have been paying more attention. This is going to cost money to fix. You could have used that money for something else. Blah. Blah. Blah.”
I think we often cut ourselves down in our own heads, so we won’t be vulnerable to the lesser critiques outside of us. I am always my worst critic. I can punish myself in my head more than anyone else so they can’t hurt me.
Given the chance, I would have been tempted to cover it up to avoid the embarrassment. Bypass any conflict. Protect my reputation. Keep life going as if nothing happened.
People-pleasing, perfectionist, performance-based, insecure, proud, non-confrontational—I’m still unwriting some of the operating scripts I’ve had running for too long.
There was a time in my life I might read a post like this and think one of a few things: too much information, too heart on the sleeve, weird. It’s taken a lot of years to be comfortable with looking inside.
The reality is, it’s all there, whether you’re willing to acknowledge it or not. It’s a matter of whether or not you can move past the awkward introspection and throw it into the light.
Someone called me “wise” the other day, and I laughed deeply. It wasn’t a self-deprecating laugh. I’ve learned to take a compliment, even though I used to really struggle with that.
I laughed because all I’ve done in the past few years is commit to being as honest, vulnerable, and thoughtful as I can. And like all “wise” people, I’ve learned that the more I know, the less I know. The more I understand myself, the further I see that I need to grow.
I’ve just learned to love the journey, even on days when you can find me cursing at the rear of my car at 5:30am in the pitch black darkness. If I’m wise, it’s only the wisdom to know that I’m a serious work in progress.