Finding my independence

I’ve always been a pretty independent person, even before I met my husband. A few months ago, I was having one of those days today where I felt that pretty much everything I attempted was impossible. I was very close to what I call “wallowing in my pity” and just feeling all crappy about myself – then fate stepped in and taught me a lesson. Here’s how it went:

I’m driving to an appointment. The windows are down in my car because the air conditioning in my car wasn’t working. I run over something, but it’s not visible from the road and doesn’t seem like a huge deal. Then I hear the “hiss” sound begin…and I start to get worried. I’m right near our gym, so I pull over into the parking lot. I get out of my car and sure enough, my passenger rear tire is flat. Like a pancake flat.

Pancake flat - what my tire looked like

I immediately call my husband and tell him of my misfortune. While we have roadside assistance, it will take him about the same amount of time to get to me as a roadside assistance truck, so he packs up from work and heads out to meet me. We estimate it will take him over an hour to get there. I sit in my car and curse that I left my kindle at home and my cell phone battery is starting to die. Just then, a car pulls up – one of the owners of the gym is coming by to do some work. He doesn’t see me, though and goes inside. I open my trunk and start to get the spare tire out and the tools (the jack, etc) – just to make sure my husband didn’t need to run home to pick up anything on his way to come and rescue me. You know, standard supplies like his superhero cape, a spare jack, lug wrench, etc.

After I get the tools out, I figure I should at least loosen the lug nuts for my husband…you know, as a courtesy. That goes well and I surmise that perhaps I can just jack up the car – you know, help him out a little more. Funny thing is that I don’t know which end of the jack is the top or the bottom. So, I do what any smart woman would do – I get out the manual for my car and read the directions. I am well on my way when the owner of the gym comes out and asks me if I need any help. Me being the independent Crossfit girl, I say “Nah, I think I’ve got it”. He respects my distance, but hangs out to entertain me and give me tips here and there. I get the car jacked up, the tire off and the spare on and start cleaning up. It was surprisingly easy. I was shocked. I called my husband and said “Okay, I’m done! I did it myself.” I think he was proud of me. Little did he know, I still had a trick up my sleeve. Thinking that my spare was low on air, I whipped out my trusty air pressure gauge and checked it (all by myself!). I needed to air up the tire a bit, so I headed to the nearest gas station to top off the air in my spare tire and then continued on to my appointment.

My car with the donut installed

I stopped at the tire store on my way home and they checked out the tire and informed me that it could not be repaired. The piece of metal that I ran over made a hole too large to patch. All that being said, my rear tires were getting bare and needed to be replaced anyway. I was not surprised as I came to the same conclusion as I was changing it. The piece of metal was large and the tires were in shoddy condition.

I surmise that this all happened for specific reasons. If my a/c wasn’t out, I wouldn’t have had the windows down and would not have heard the hissing of the air from my tire. If I wouldn’t have had to change my tire, I wouldn’t have noticed I needed new rear tires. Yeah, it sucks to be buying two new tires when I wasn’t planning on it, but I really do believe stuff like this happens this way for a reason. Call me a ¬†hippie, tree hugging silly person, I don’t care. I’ve seen it happen too much in my life to discount it – maybe, just maybe, I’m an optimist.

At the end of the day, I’m incredibly proud of myself for changing that tire on my own. While it may be easier to sit and wait for a guy to come along and do the task for me, it’s so much more empowering to know that I can be self sufficient. I’ve been married almost 10 years now – I’ve been with my husband for 12 years. He is a wonderful husband, he wants to do things for me – he doesn’t want to see me struggle. I get spoiled and let him do more than I typically would. That’s a good problem to have, but I also realize that I feel as though I’ve slowly lost my independence in the process. I need to feel self-sufficient. I need to know that I can and will do things (like change a flat tire) for myself.

Every once in a while, it’s good to flex my “independence” muscle and know that when push comes to shove, this crazy Cajun can take care of herself!

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