The corner of Grand Blvd & Winnebago Dr, downtown Saint Louis. Yep, that’s where my 5 year old 4-door fireball lost it’s brakes. It turns out one of my calipers exploded and I lost all my brake fluid. The mechanic pointed out the corroded area around the seal and told me I wouldn’t even know what to look for that when I last changed my brake pads. That put my anxiety a bit at ease because I almost nailed another vehicle when I lost my brakes and that would have been hard to live with, even if it was by accident.
Sure, in my hometown of Waterloo most people would probably just chalk it up to an insurance claim and been on their way. Not on the corner of Grand & Winnebago in downtown STL. Most of the regular traffic on this road is cars that have minimal coverage if even that. For many people these clunkers are the only thing getting them to their job and keeping their lives going. Many have not grounded completely in life and this is a place they end up. I knew as I sat and waited for the tow truck that although I have little to nothing to fear from anyone around me, I really don’t belong here and should politely keep to myself. I still had a couple interesting conversations due to the nature of me sitting there for over an hour. Honestly, if we just keep to ourselves and don’t pay too much attention to the affairs of others we will do alright no matter where we are.
After about an hour of getting odd looks and onlookers, my car was towed and I had nothing to worry about. My point is, I didn’t make anything a big deal so nobody else did either. Now people understand why I still have friends that live in the ghetto. Its not as scary a place as we like to tell ourselves. There are few places that truly are.
The day after my car broke down, my air conditioner decided to stop making the house cool. I was greeted with this delight and no idea what to do. I have a good friend who is an HVAC expert and lives just down the road. But he’s busy, especially on a day like this and if I do bug him or my stepdad, they’re both going to want to know what I have done to try to take care of it myself. And I would too, it’s hot out and both have already spent the whole day in the heat.
Before I assembled the cover I made the mistake of putting the fan on upside down and then complaining how hard it was to adjust the set screw. Even my stepfather laughed at my rookie mistake. Hey, I was worried my A/C was broke and I had to get someone to repair it. I’m just happy it was within my scope to fix. My buddy John has shown me how to pull the breaker next to the unit so no fingers were lost today.
Upon putting everything back together, my anxiety not only dropped but it smoothed out more. I am now even more confident to do the things I am familiar with because I accomplished something that was not familiar to me. It feels really good to achieve a victory. This is why “leveling up” in a video game feels so amazing although we have accomplished very little overall while playing it.
This week has put me behind on schoolwork, eaten up hours of my time I should have been spending on something else and more than anything has disrupted my routine. But that is okay. Three years ago I would NOT have been able to handle both events happening or what came next so quickly or smoothly. Three years ago I likely would have given in to frustration or lost my nerve until someone came to fix my problems. Since then, I’ve “leveled up.” Since then I’ve been promoted in my own life because I’m pushing myself to once again achieve the level of execution I need reach to attain my goals.
About an hour after I cleaned up from getting the A/C running again I got a phone call from a buddy who was out of town. He told me his daughter was hysterical because her cat had passed and was near her car. He told me I could just bag it and set it aside and he’d take care of it. After thinking about it for a few moments I tossed a pickax and shovel into my car and set out. Upon pulling up in driveway I could already feel this girl’s eyes on me. She was nowhere to be found but my buddy told her I was coming over to take care of the cat. I hate cats.
Upon finding the poor thing I pulled on gloves and carefully moved the cat to it’s burial spot. I kept thinking to myself how I would feel if I lost my dog. I would be absolutely devastated and I certainly wouldn’t want some bearded ogre looking moron like me being anything but respectful. After I filled the cat’s grave with dirt on top I marked the burial site with a brick so my buddy’s daughter could visit if she wanted.
On Tuesday I got a call my car was ready and the bill was much less than I originally expected because my insurance covered a lot of it. Looking back on the past few days, this hasn’t really been a big deal because at no point did I ever make it a big deal. My anxiety does not control me.
You’re Welcome. Internet.