Monthly Archives: February 2015

Learning to drive a stick with Mom

“Come on, Jenny, get it into first gear! Ok, now let it out. NOW! Now go! Come on Jenny, GET IN THERE!”–my mother teaching me to drive her stick shift as I am supposed to take a left from top of a small hill with a good flow of traffic coming steadily downstream that doesn’t even have a traffic light

This scenario is probably the ultimate metaphor for my entire life. All the world is the traffic, going at it’s normal pace which is somehow too fast and completely intimidating to me.  I feel safer on the sideline–as a parallel player.

And furthermore, I’m not one who can just simply jump to second gear and risk my tranny to catch up to everyone at full highway speed in 3 seconds or less. I’m one of those who needs to feel the gear catch, let it out slowly, making the transition as smooth as possible. And that’s ok if I miss out on some things. I languor in others, so to me it’s worth it.

Although sometimes I wonder what my life would be like if I were more normal. Maybe I have wasted all these years taking months or years others would have done in weeks or days, being afraid of a normal life with a house, a family and a cushy job.

Unlike so many of what I consider my linguistically inclined peers, this is the story of my life. Transitioning in and out of careers, places, relationships and situations into the least bumpy version of it as possible is, above all, why I’m not a writer.