316 // Long-Earned

It’s a long-earned early day home from work this Friday. The weather is nice but I’ve decided to stay in and catch up on some notes and fragments I’ve collected in notebooks and across app timelines. I’ve got a window full of sunshine and Flow State Radio playing on in the background. I’ve got my timer on and a big cup of coffee from the Moka pot. I’m ready to work.

It feels good to be back in my little space, somewhere I have been away from for far too long. The reasons are all so varied it’s hard to know where to begin. Any explanation is only an excuse. Then again, an explanation isn’t really owed, is it? All I will say is so much has changed, I am changed, and I am excited to fill you in and catch you up, little by little.

For now, I simply want to celebrate a whole week of being brave. For those who don’t know, I’ve long suffered from severe driving anxiety. It has hindered my independence, limited my opportunities, and devastated my self-esteem, but this week real progress was made!

My wife and I got a second car this month, and it has been just the push I need to push myself past my fear. Every day I wake with knots in my gut. I want to cry or vomit or both every time I sit behind the wheel, but this week I drove, anyway. I drove to and from work, home for lunch, to get gas, and even to get a flu shot! I have so many more places I plan to go as I slowly, slowly, slowly venture out of my comfort zone.

This may seem a small victory to those for whom driving is nothing to fear at all, but just imagine your greatest fear—heights? spiders? snakes? germs?—and having to face it multiple times a day. This is what I am going through. I have faced it but the truth is I’m still afraid and will be for a long time, maybe the rest of my life, but there is a seed of confidence that grows each time I prove I can do it.

For now, I’m focusing on the positive alone. I am feeling capable, strong, and fully human. I feel good about myself and that turns out to be the most important change of all.

This morning was a good one. I woke up on time despite forgetting to check that my alarm was set last night and I got ready for work so smoothly I still can’t shake the feeling I must have forgotten something critical.

I got to work early and had plenty of time to prepare for my route and then hardly any kids showed up. The person I was supposed to test after my route ended up canceling and I have hours to myself for quiet work and a few podcasts.

It’s turning out to be a pretty good day!


Today turned out to be an uneventful day and uneventful, it turns out, is more exhausting than busy. 

I had time for what I wanted to do but the time I put into my personal pursuits only ever amount to incremental, almost imperceptible, progress whereas my day job is made up of tasks with beginnings, clear steps, and satisfying endings. No wonder I choose my day job over my passions so often. No wonder chasing my dreams feels so silly, pointless, and impossible in comparison.

Still, even with these negative and nagging thoughts in my head, part of me is happy. Perhaps that is the feeling I am chasing. Perhaps it will get bigger with time.