Just Go Left

What Poles Taught Me About Relationships

Choosing Joy, PersonalAshtenComment

(Not that pole, you perv!)

It was an email that could have gone unanswered until I got home but my “Type A”, somewhat nosy and very busy little soul could not let it sit there untouched.

I was almost done with my well-written, concise (albeit 4 word response) when….. I hit a pole with my car. Driving and emailing: two things I do often for no other reason than I am very busy and I can. Well technically I can’t because it’s against the law……but just call me a rebel with a full inbox.

Luckily, I was in the parking lot at work when I hit said pole, so no one (other than my pride) were injured, but there was a lovely dent in the front passenger side bumper of the Jeep I’d proudly owned for 4 months.

A giant reminder that I broke the law. And that I’m an idiot. And that emails are ruining my life.

“SHIT FUCK SHIT!” I whispered to myself, half out of anger/frustration at my own stupidity and half at all the repercussions this would have on my life in the coming days.

I climbed out of my beloved Jeep to survey the damage and my car door slammed, locking my keys in the car….. WHILE MY CAR WAS STILL RUNNING. WITH BOTH MY PHONES AND MY WORK BADGE INSIDE.

Ok God, message received….loud and clear.

Kyle worked two football fields from where I hit that pole so I trudged into his office and, with head hung in shame, I confessed my crime. He smiled, said he was glad I was ok, but that emailing and driving is very bad, then handed over his car keys and sent me on my way to grab my spare set at home. An hour later, I got in my car only to find that my alignment was messed up and my car was making a funny noise. A mechanic visit was in my immediate future, and since all mechanics were closed by the hour my crime was committed, I would have to go first thing in the morning.

I called Kyle.

“So, I have to take the Jeep in. I think I’m just going to drop it off in the morning and walk to the office. Pretty sure it's going to be bad, but I'll let you know what happens.”

“Can’t I just take you?” (mind you, he gets off work at 2:30 a.m., and heads to bed around 3:30 a.m.)

“But you get off work so late. I want to let you sleep!”

“It’s fine. I’ll take you.”

At 3:30 a.m., Kyle crawled into bed and told me to wake him when I needed to head to the mechanic.

At 7:30 a.m. when I gently woke him, I was greeted by a smile and a “oh you silly, cute girl. Let’s go.”

Slowly, he followed me to the mechanic, patiently he waited for me to drop off my car and as he drove me to work, kept a supportive hand on my leg reminding me that “everything will be ok, but emailing and driving is very bad”.

I think I can do it all: answer every email, maintain every relationship, handle every problem, save everyone….I mean, I’m a smart, successful, capable woman, aren’t I? I run myself into the ground trying to get everything done and a lot of times it feels like I’m trying to keep 1,000 plates spinning in the air at the same time.  I didn’t just hit a pole that night, I hit my own personal wall. I am exhausted.

Before Kyle moved in, I voiced fears of losing my independence quietly to the people I trusted most. I stressed how hard I worked to create this life for myself where I depended on no one but me. Would him moving in change that? 

That morning, as I watched Kyle drive away, I realized: that fear of losing my independence was silenced and in its place was gratitude.

I am grateful for a man who carries half the load when it gets too heavy for me to carry alone. I am grateful for a partner who is patient with me when I need grace, who goes slowly when I need time, who reminds me to set boundaries when I need to loosen my grip on life a bit. I’m grateful for God’s gentle reminder that I don’t have to do it all, and for putting someone in my life who reminds me that there is life outside my emails. I am not alone anymore. Only took hitting a pole to figure that out.

Oh, and my car cost $1,123 to fix. 


P.s.: About two months ago, I totaled the Jeep, except I wasn't answering emails, and we went through this whole process again. And just in case you're wondering? KYLE IS A SAINT.