I haven’t driven for over two months. So it was a strange feeling yesterday when I slipped back behind the wheel of my beloved Gypsy Rose Squee and put the key in the ignition. My husband came over to kiss me goodbye for work, and I had to fumble to find the button to lower the window.

“Are you going to be okay?” he asked.

“I’m fine,” I said. And I mostly meant it.

As I headed on my way to work, I had to remind myself to increase my speed as 60 seemed so fast. But I didn’t want to hinder the flow of traffic. I only made one wrong turn, but I blame Siri for that. She told me to bear right and then to bear left and I couldn’t change lanes fast enough.

My whole life has been a series of changing lanes these past few months. Good things and bad things and just . . . things making each day a new adventure in failures and successes. Another birthday, a new marriage, a new job – all things to celebrate. Trips to the ER, mistakes from the past, digging through piles of paperwork and faded memories trying to find solutions. Cutting back, clearing out the closets of things we no longer needed, venturing forward to things we’ve never tried before. Trying to be a good wife, a good friend and a better person.

I know we are not in Kansas anymore, Toto.

Losing the ability to drive was humbling and eye-opening, to say the least. Even though the challenges were not solely of my doing, having to deal with the past and rely on others was difficult. Not being in control, and letting it be okay, and admitting I needed help – were all hard things to be humble about. Inside I was going crazy.

At one point, SH said to me, “You really don’t like to drive anyway.”

That floored me. I was always been the traveling gypsy in my mind: the one ready to take off at a whim for the beach, a cross-country move or just an adventure. I was the one who always picked everyone else up for whatever mischief we were managing. I just couldn’t imagine me not being in the driver’s seat.

But then I really thought about it. The truth is I’ve not been that person for a while. As my car and my health went in to disrepair, it was easier to sit in the passenger seat and let others take the wheel. I still got myself where I needed to go, but given the option, I was content to ride shotgun.
Now that I’m back in the driver’s seat, I’ve noticed a difference in myself. Some of it is feeling like my old self again – but a lot of it is feeling like the upgraded version. Happier, freer, more confident in what the future will be. I don’t need to be a gypsy to be happy, but I’m not afraid to move forward.

I’m back on track, and I like it.