"Above all, be the heroine of your life, not the victim."
Me: Drew, what if we can't afford that? What if our kids are born with defects or health problems? What if one of us gets in a terrible car accident and can't work? What if the whole world just caves in around us?
Drew: Meg, it'll be fine.
I've always been anxiety-ridden and full of anticipation for the worst. As much as these tendencies are ailments, in a way, I've come to appreciate them.
They seem to make me more grateful for what I have. It's a miracle to me that I've always woken up with everything I need everyday of my life. That Drew and I are in good health, that our cars are running, that our jobs pay the rent, and that we can still afford to splurge on a little Zupas here and there.
One of the most prominent areas of personal paranoia I mentioned above is my car. I'm always so scared that it's just going to break down. You know, like, engine seizing, transmission blowing, overheating fluids, parts flying off. Terrifying stuff. I'm always looking at the temperature, always listening to the engine.
This fear, I'm quite certain, comes from the history I had with Dad's cars. I don't know why he let me drive them.
"Dad, it's over heating! What do I do?"
"Dad, the Jeep rolled into another car in the parking lot...what do I do?"
"Dad, the Cadillac won't start again....what do I do?"
"Dad, while I was driving down a hill the Jeep's engine shut off and the whole car just started violently shaking again...what do I do?"
"Dad, I ran into another car...what do I do?"
One mishap in particular still stands out in my mind, with the old Cadillac. I had just picked up my mom from work and went to start the engine. It refused. It was the dead of winter. It was getting dark. I was cold, and I was over it. All of it.
And I kind of lost it. I started violently pounding my fists on the steering wheel, shaking my head like a wild animal, and screaming, "I HAAAATE THIS CAAAAR!"
A fit of passion such as this is rare in my case. My mother must have been shocked, but calmly took over. She told me to breathe, and got the car to start. It never liked me. Probably because I blew its speakers.
In spite of these rage blackouts, I appreciate the challenges I had growing up. For the fact that my parents didn't just hand me money whenever I wanted it. That I learned to work at a young age. For all of the challenges and overwhelming situations that helped me to see that I'm not quite as entitled as I thought. That make me value my trusty Accord and steady job and dependable husband.
And I'm sure those things sound pretty boring. But without these things I just don't think I'd have any time for fun. Without these things, it's difficult to imagine what kind of home I would return to each night.
A home that I plan to hold onto like I hold onto life.