Sunday, October 22, 2017

Trust Is An Option

Anybody who knows me is aware that I have a phobia about driving in traffic. I'm great alone on a highway stretching into nowhere. Or better yet, a local street like this. But put me in a situation where I have to go somewhere new, be alert to street signs and landmarks, and manage to stay in the proper lane and keep from going too slowly and my heart starts to thump.

So, of course, moving to a new city is a challenge. I've tried to drive somewhere new each day. And it gets easier. Maybe Connecticut isn't quite as pressurized as New York. But my biggest challenge was finding the DMV to register my car and get a new license. After putting it off for a few days, somehow the GPS got me there even though there was this confusing bit where I could swear I went in a circle. I wouldn't have been able to do it again.

The line stretched outside to the parking lot. Well, it was a Saturday. After an interminable length of time, I finally found myself inside holding a numbered ticket and standing in a (still) long line. But eventually someone called my number and I went to the counter. First I had to present the three pieces of identification - my NY license, passport and social security card. The first two were easy. The social security card was not there.

It was not in my folder, my wallet or my purse. The lady behind the counter was kind and said I could sit down and look for it and then come back. So I did that, and finally went out to the car in case it had fallen into the seats. Still no card. I had no choice but to go back home and find it.

So I tapped in "Go Home" on my Garmin because the cell phone had used up the data for the month and the speed was reduced. I continued to follow the GPS directions until suddenly I was in Downtown. And I realized that "Go Home" on my GPS still had my NY address. I looked on the bright side. I could now scope out parking garages and see where the streets were because this was another area that I wanted to explore but had been too chicken.

I drove around a bit and didn't stop because I had an appointment at an open house in the afternoon for a yoga class. But I did pull into a parking lot and tap in my new address on the GPS.

Once I got home, of course, I began the search for the social security card. Not in the kitchen. Not in the office. Not in the files. Not in the office trash. Not in the kitchen trash!

In one last effort, I went back to the wallet (for the fourth time) and dug around in the pockets where you put credit cards. And there it was. Wedged in with a couple of old business cards.

So I took this as a very important lesson that I could trust myself. I'm not going to screw up. At least, most of the time. And if I'm just patient and confident, I'll probably do okay.

So far, I've managed to find two library branches, the grocery, the home goods store, the package store, the DMV, the furniture store, a beautiful yoga studio, a Thai restaurant, the bank, the pharmacy, a good gas station, a place to service my car, the movie theater, a woods with hiking trails, and a walking trail by the river.

Next time I'll go downtown and try out the organic food market, a farmer's market and art galleries. Maybe figure out where to park at the train station. This is only the beginning.

I don't know why I'm writing this. It's not like my usual poetry, but maybe it'll give someone else a dose of confidence.


Brenda Clews said...

I didn't know you moved, Stirling! Wow. What a huge event. I love your writing of this moment of (not) getting a new driver's license, and the way the city opens up around you and your GPS-guided car. Beautiful writing! xoxo

Stirling Davenport said...

Thank you, Brenda! I haven't advertised my move much. I love my new place and have officially now retired so once I get settled in, I can devote my time to writing and art, my two lifelong passions. I've only been here a couple of weeks so I'm still nesting, and learning my way ...

A Word Witch said...

If you've found a Thai restaurant, I think you're already settled in LOL!! Love the photos, can't wait to visit, hope I can do that someday!

Stirling Davenport said...

Oh, Lu. Thanks - you are welcome to visit any time!