So before the start of the New Year, I laid out ten goals I hoped to accomplish by the end of the year. Number 5 on that list was to drive on a L.A. freeway. In my mind, there are few things more terrifying than the freeway. I'm a nervous wreck, even when others drive on it due to my anxiety problems. So when Adam would chose to TORTURE me by taking the freeway, I would cover my eyes until he had merged, and then periodically scream "watch out!" I really am a joy, aren't I?
I originally planned to complete this goal by using the behavioral therapy technique of systematic desensitization. (I'm typing this post while I watch a show on the history channel about Prostitution in Pompeii, so I had accidentally written "the behavioral therapy technique of PROSTITUTION" at first LOL). If you don't know about systemic desensitization, it is taking little steps to expose yourself to your fear, before taking the plunge.
So I planned to spend several months staring at the freeway from a far, and that is where my plan stopped. Truth be told, I threw that goal out the window two weeks after I made it. It was going to be IMPOSSIBLE. But I hadn't started school yet at the time, and I didn't know the house I was working at and my campus would be 23 miles apart. It takes me an hour and a half every Thursday to get to class, just taking the side roads. It is miserable. But I've been doing that drive for months. Last Thursday, I was walking to my car after work, thinking about the long commute ahead of me, and a small thought creeped into my head, "The freeway is faster."
My first reaction was, "Girl, You are CRAZY that is you biggest fear!" But what is weird is that the thought didn't totally terrify me (This is probably due to my recent prescription for medicine that makes me less crazy). So I decided to lift the freeway ban off of my GPS, and just do it. Merging onto a freeway is a bit like playing a game of Frogger, and I was never very good at Frogger. The whole time I was driving up the on ramp, I was praying for my life. And luckily, God saw fit to spare me. I merged! And then I thought, "Holy Hades, I am driving on the Freeway!" Y'all it wasn't so bad, and I felt like I was flying. But then the GPS told me I would have to merge onto the 405N, and I thought about abandoning my whole plan. But I wasn't going to blow this chance, and I stuck with it and successfully merged a second time .
It took me 25 minutes to get to class, as opposed to an hour and a half! Then I took the freeway home that night, and got home in ten minutes. This has revolutionized the way I go to class. I probably won't be using the freeway to go everywhere, and I will never love the freeway. But at least now I know I can use it, if I need too. Fear rules so much of my life, so it feels good when I can conquer it.