If you know me, you are aware that I unabashedly love my 2001 Jeep Grand Cherokee. I named him Omar the moment I drove away from the previous owner, who was also named Omar. Yes, I named my vehicle after the man who sold it to me. Admit it, Omar is a hilarious name for a car.
Here's the breakdown (pun intended): Omar's rear view mirror has fallen off twice in the past month, I'm constantly elbow jabbing the driver door to keep it from rattling, and the sound of a bird chirping is coming from somewhere in the rear end. However, just because it feels like a game of Russian roulette every time I fire up the engine doesn't mean I do not love that deranged glob of metal and plastic. There is one thing Omar has given me these past 8 years, for which I will be eternally grateful. And that, my friends, is sweet, sweet freedom.
This past fall I had my first public transportation experience in New York City. I took the subway (aka "Path" if I wanted to sound local) from Hoboken, NJ into Manhattan. I have heard the horror stories, which resulted in an abnormally fast heart rate while stepping on to the platform. Will I fall in the big hole and onto the tracks rendering me unconscious? Will someone save me before the subway arrives? Lord, watch over me, I prayed. After rushing in the doors with the 3 seconds they give you to board, something funny happened as we took off into the long dark tunnel without cell service. Although I could not feel the Texas wind in my hair and the sweat from strangers sardined around me was slightly palpable, I sensed a different type of liberation in this form of transit. I could stare at my feet. I could read a book. I could completely mentally disengage. These are things I could never (safely) do while driving Omar.
My point is this: Never underestimate the power of leaving behind the comforts of home in exchange for something new and unknown. Different is not synonymous with bad or evil. Different can actually be really cool. Change is fundamental to growth in the same way experience is to knowledge. So why limit yourself to what's comfortable?
I am counting on this summer in Rome to awaken parts of me internally that I did not know existed. The good, the bad, and quite possibly the ugly. Not only will I be dealing with public transportation (a concept I still have not entirely grasped), I will be navigating it in a language I have only just begun to learn.
Transitions in life are never going to be easy. We move, we get married, we have babies, people die, natural disasters strike, and the list goes on. So whether you are taking a car, bus, train, subway, bicycle, or Flintstoning your way to your next destination, be sure to switch it up every once in a while. You won't be disappointed.