You guys – my worst fear has been realized. (Well – my worst gas-station-related fear.)
Ever since I got my driver’s license when I was 17, I’ve been mortally afraid of one thing – that I will drive away from the gas pump with the pump still attached to my car.
I have envisioned this happening so many times. I have no idea where the fear stems from – I’ve never heard of anyone doing it. But still, I compulsively check to make sure I’ve returned the nozzle to the appropriate place.
UNTIL LAST NIGHT.
I was distracted. I was tired from my drive home (ugh, commuting) and I stopped for gas because Tee and I were going to turn immediately around and drive down to Howard County for a dinner with some other adoptive-parents-in-waiting.
I set up the gas nozzle to pump and then went inside to buy a diet Coke. I came back out, got in the car, and drove away. Only about ten feet. THEN, I heard this unpleasant sound, and realized what I’d done.
I was pretty sure that a) I’d damaged my car, and b) I was going to have to pay thousands of dollars to pay for damage done to the gas station pump. I had this shameful moment when I thought about removing the pump, throwing it on the ground, and getting in my car and speeding away. But I rebounded to my honest, authentic self, removed the nozzle, parked the car, and walked inside to talk to the guy at the register.
He smiled at me as I walked in. “I saw,” he assured me. “It happens all the time. Don’t worry about it.”
I blinked at him, confused.
“They’re made to do that,” he explained. “My guy will just walk out there and pop it back in.”
I finally registered this message – that it was no big deal. I was free to get on my way. No harm done.
My worst fear realized. And it wasn’t not nearly as scary or consequential as I thought it would be.
I don’t want to do that thing when I take an insignificant event and give it more meaning than it should have. But – is it possible this is true for all of my fears?
I spend a lot of time worrying – more than I’d like to. And my worries stem from fears over things I can’t control.
Logically, I am aware that a) worrying does not affect the outcome of any situation, and b) worrying about tomorrow kills today’s joy. There have been so many times when I’ve worried about things that ended up being TOTALLY FINE. Days and days worrying about things that I can’t control.
I am way happier when I’m not worrying.
I’m going to hope that this gas station epiphany will help me to remember that sometimes the things I worry about are actually no big deal at all. #GasStationEpiphanies