BETHANY UNRAVELLING

 
 
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Hurdles

I don't know about you, but I often feel like I am stumbling forward in life. Somehow I manage to keep my feet under me, only by the grace of the Spirit. And a little help from my friends.


I've had the feeling lately like my life is stretching out before me like hurdles lined up on a track. Except in this dream I have no special abilities that I don't have in real life... which is to say: I don't know how to jump hurdles. And I feel like I don't know how to do most of the things I've been doing lately.


For example: I don't know how to purchase an internet package. It's not that I think buying internet is some kind of Herculean task; I know that I can learn to do it. It's simply that I don't know how to do it and have to put in the time and effort to learn. There's a lot of learning happening these days. A welcome but also unwelcome opportunity for growth. I haven't personally purchased a phone plan since 2009. I am in the process of purchasing a car, something I've never done before. It's a manual transmission which, until today, I didn't know how to drive (thanks Marcie!!!!). Hills are still very iffy. I definitely don't know how to plan a multi-day road trip in a U-haul, towing a car, with my dog, alone, across a third of the world's second-largest country during a global pandemic. It's a lot.


And yet, here I am. Doing it. I booked the U-haul today. Turns out the car-towing kit is a simple add-on. One click and done. They have videos for how to attach and load it. I found out a friend has towed a car before and if worse comes to worse I'll ask her to come supervise from a distance.


An important thing I'm learning about the hurdles is: you don't have to do them alone. Perhaps the biggest reason I am still standing is because I reach out to people for help. I recognize the stupidity of pretending I'm a hero who doesn't need anyone. While being strong and capable is something I feel is important to embrace, I also know that no woman is an island. Connections with friends and family are strengthened if you rely on them appropriately for help. We all need help from time to time, and people who love us want to help us when they can. The web of friends and family is there to support us, and allowing them to support us in times of need is one of the coolest and most important parts of being human, I think.


In this season of many hurdles I've intentionally reached out to women in my life to help me solve my problems. Aunts, friends, sisters, moms, they store a lot of knowledge. Unfortunately I live in a world where I've been socialized to turn to men for help with things like how to tow a car, what internet package to get, etc, but it turns out (you will not be surprised) that women also know a lot about these things. Marcie taught me how to drive stick. Jen advised me on buying vs. leasing a car. Rach is helping me find moving folk to unload my U-haul on the other side. Erika is selling me the car. Darlene is renting me her apartment. Melissa, Mom, Sophie, Teri, Leanne, Mel, Jen, Kelly, Kate, Jac, Mabel, Melina: you're all helping me process divorce and the overwhelming reality of my new and scary life. All these women are not only helping me learn new things, but encouraging me to be strong and capable like they are. When I rely on them I become more empowered to rely on myself. When I ask and allow them to support me it makes me want to pass on the gift of their support.

So on this Mother's Day I want to thank all the women who have had a hand in helping me grow up and learn new skills. Because of you I am able to navigate this overwhelming season of life, watch in amazement as what seemed like impossible hurdles flash behind me, and get major street cred with my manual transmission skillz.


Thank you from the bottom of my heart.

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