Today I had a disappointing meeting where I was seeking help with the cost of daycare so that I can work and be able to afford to continue living on my own. Apparently I make too much. Imagine that. It’s almost laughable that my income, which is significantly lower than my expenses now that the kids are in daycare, is considered TOO MUCH. I drove him feeling a lot more like lead than the hopeful airiness I carried with me just that morning.

Upon entering the freeway, I was forced to merge between two large tanker trucks. It always makes me nervous to drive near these trucks because they are so big, and my car is so small. Should one of them not see me, they could crush me and probably never feel it.

Of course, our freeway is the kind that moves mostly at a crawl all day long. Today was no exception. I was only about five miles away from my exit, but I could tell it was going to be forever before I reached it, as my lane seemed to be moving to the tune of 35 MPH. I could see from my rearview mirror that cars were moving around the tanker behind me, and the fast lane was moving at a significantly faster pace than the lane I was in. If I timed things right, I could probably squeeze into this faster lane and get to my destination a lot faster. But it looked too hard, as these cars were moving a lot faster, and I was surrounded by these two big trucks moving incredibly slow. I would really have to get up to speed fast to be able to match the fast lane. And besides, I knew that if I did manage to pass the tanker in front of me, I would have a heck of a time trying to merge back in since inevitably there were tons of cars in front of it slowing it down.

The opportunity finally presented itself. A Fed Ex truck was slowing down traffic in the fast lane. When the car before it passed me, I made a last minute decision and whipped into the fast lane. Once the truck was not in front of me blocking my view of the road ahead, it was apparent that my assumptions had been wrong. No cars were in front of it, and the lane was pretty much empty. I merged back in to that lane and enjoyed the smooth ride home.

Life is like that. I have my own huge truck in front of me right now. It’s called the expenses of being a single mother with a single income who makes too little money to handle all her expenses, and too much money to qualify for financial help. My big truck behind me is working at a job that I love that works me to the bone, pays pretty decently, but will not give me the full time hours I so desperately need, and still haunts me with the dangers of the layoff season underfoot. This truck in front of me is blocking my view of the road ahead, taking away my hope of ever reaching the place I want to end up (which at this point is anywhere on the other side of this truck). The truck behind me is allowing me only to see the other vehicles passing me by while I remain in the slow lane. And the fast lane next to me is making me afraid merge in, for surely I will mess up and crash.

I cannot see the smooth road ahead. It’s almost like I refuse to. There are easier jobs out there with the hours and pay I need that will allow me to afford life. Merging in with the rest of those succeeding at life is not an impossible feat. I have just allowed these huge tankers to block my view and allow me to believe that I can’t do it.

Well guess what? I can.


One thought on “Determination

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