When I was growing up I thought I was a pioneer. Whenever we had to do something hard, my dad would tell my sisters and I that we were pioneer women and that we were strong and we could do anything. We even had a quilt that we called the pioneer blanket. (I don’t have any idea why it was called the pioneer blanket. As I am the youngest in my family, the name must have come about sometime before I can remember, but I’ve never thought to ask anyone). Whenever the power would go out we would light candles and cuddle under our pioneer blanket and tell stories or listen to my dad read, or just giggle and have an excellent time. My ancestors were pioneers who came across the plains and so I guess that I have pioneer blood in me. I grew up in the mountains: camping, backpacking, hiking, cross country skiing, making fires, and doing all that kind of great outdoor stuff. When I got a little older I learned to ride horses, tie knots, sew, and even shoot guns. Besides all this fun outdoor stuff, I’ve always been especially independent. Both my parents worked and my whole family was always pretty busy, so I just learned to take care of myself. I even lived on my own, basically in my car or staying at friends’ houses during the summer before my senior year of high school, while working two jobs and participating in drill team and student council. By now you’re probably thinking that I should stop bragging and get to the point. Be patient, I’m getting there. The point of telling you all of this is that basically I’ve always thought of my self as self-sufficient and able to take care of myself.
Ever since I’ve been with Jerry and especially since we moved to Georgia, my life has been very different. He helps me so much and I’ve really learned to rely on him, probably even too much. Before he left this past summer, I had a really hard time almost every day when he would leave for work. I just felt like I couldn’t handle things on my own, and it really bothered me. A pioneer woman wouldn’t cry just because her husband was going to work for the day. When he left for the summer, the first few weeks were extremely hard. Luckily I had a lot of help and as the summer went on I finally started feeling like I was handling things alright and even sometimes like I was succeeding. By the end of the summer I finally started feeling a bit like my old pioneer self again.
However since I was little there has always been one thing that I couldn’t do and felt embarrassed that a strong independent woman should be able to do. Drive a stick shift (manual transmission) car. My mom never learned and I always thought that was so out of character for her. She was the one dragging me and my sisters all over the mountains (by herself) and teaching me most of my pioneer “skills”. I’ve been taught on about four different occasions to drive a stick shift, but I’ve never had my own manual transmission car, so I never got enough practice to be able to do it smoothly. A few weeks ago Jerry bought an old little truck (with a manual transmission) for him to commute to work in. I have been a little apprehensive to drive it because it’s been about three years since I even attempted to drive a stick. Tonight I decided to drive to the store to get us a soda and to take the truck out for some practice. Jerry couldn’t go with me to help me because we have the boys and there isn’t exactly room for two car seats and two adults. Anyway, I did really well and I just couldn’t stop beaming with pride because I finally feel like I conquered this. I know it’s something small and silly, but that is exactly why it’s always bothered me that I couldn’t do it. So I challenge you to conquer something that you’ve always wanted to learn to do. Maybe even before the end of the year. Why wait until the New Year to start your new year’s resolutions? What is something that you’ve always wanted to be able to do?