Sunday, September 11, 2011


Words can hurt. I have blogged about the pain inflicted on me (and countless others) by bullies.

I am now referring to those words uttered in an effort to actually help, but paradoxically, become damaging.

This past summer I took my car in for an oil change. While there, the mechanic looked at the odometer and whistled, "Almost 75,000! There's a fuel pump in your future." During the summer, I stayed close to home, not necessarily because of this dire warning, but because I wanted the time to clean out the guest room to possibly rent out. And clean out clutter in general.

But, with summer over and my return to work those words came back to haunt me. I have a 60 mile commute to work and back. A good friend of mine recently went through a series of problems with his car.  So, car problems were on my mind. And, I had a fuel pump go out just around 75,000 miles in a different vehicle and I just imagined myself stranded along the freeway. I began to panic, as my finances are limited and I can't afford the repair. Not to mention the strain on the school if I call in and they can't get a substitute that late in the morning.

I began considering alternate plans to minimize driving; I could get up earlier and drive to the subway station and take the trains in to work and back, adding two hours to my day. And if the car did die, and I couldn't drive to the station, I could get up even earlier and take two buses to the station, adding yet another hour each way.

And while this is definitely not the optimal way to get to work and back, it is a way. And I would have no choice but to do it.  I think of it as a survival strategy. I just wasn't relishing the idea of those nights where I have to be at school until 7:00 PM.

I had a discussion about this with a friend. She felt I was being negative with my thinking whereas I felt I was being realistic. I thought I was facing the problem head on, and yes, it was a difficult plan to face, so I wasn't happy about it. I'm used to getting in my car and being home within an hour. I am not used to walking a mile from the school to the train station, going into downtown and transferring to another train, and then take two buses from the station to a street corner near my house. I guess it's all a matter of perspective.

I chose this picture of the Russian Guardhouse in Sitka, Alaska to represent this blog because the thought and subsequent anxiety of taking trains/buses until I had saved enough money to repair my car started to become a prison and even though this building is not an actual prison, it does have a very stifling and suffocating feel to it. And as the Universe has someone in store for me, I'm sure the Universe will take care of my car as well.

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