My parent’s purchased a 1979 Ford Thunderbird brand, spanking new, two years, before I was born. It was candy-apple red with snow-white leather interior, and the frame was longer than a night in jail.
My mom loved the Thunderbird, and it suited her so well, all leather and chrome. My parents kept the car for years, and I practically grew up in the car. I didn’t love the car itself, but I did love where it could take me.
Back in those days, children of my age, were not restrained in car seats or confined by seat belts. My brother was older, so he got the coveted privilege of sitting up front with my mother. Somehow riding up front made you cooler and more mature. I didn’t mind sitting in back. I would scoot from side to side, looking all around, at the world we passed by; houses, mountains, hills, rolling pastures and the occasional Moo Cow. My eyes, scanning from side to side, and the occasional front to back, taking it all in. I never wanted to look straight ahead at the perfectly striped road before us. It was too mundane and offered so little. No, I needed to see more, more of what the world held, and not another car or black asphalt.
Then, every time, halfway through the car ride, my stomach would start to ache and the car would begin to spin. I was no longer a backseat passenger of a Ford Thunderbird, but a carnival goer strapped to the tilt-a-whirl. Mom would tell me to lay down. She would roll the windows down or crank up the A/C, but it would always be too late. My lunch would rise to my throat, and spew from my mouth, at lightening speed, coating the interior. Unfortunately, for my Mother and the Thunderbird, I wasn’t coordinated enough to hurl out the window, and my mom wasn’t quick enough to pull over on the side of the road in time. Eventually, I became quite proficient in hurling into paper bags or towels, but it was too late for the back seat. It had already been stained a light pink, no longer a glistening snow-white.
I hated getting car sick, but I couldn’t give up my car rides, and I couldn’t follow my Mom’s advice.
“Tammy, if you would only look, straight ahead, and not all around, I promise you, you would not get sick.”
Only if I had listened to my mother, but I couldn’t do it. I could not stop looking at everything around me, and not what laid directly in front of me.
Luckily, I outgrew, the whole motion sickness thing, for the most part. From time to time, I still get car sick, and I still could not ride the tilt-a-whirl without puking. Yet, I still get sick from my surroundings, but it’s not from the view of a 1979 Ford Thunderbird. No, my sickness is from a very old disease, called Envy.
It is so easy for me to look around and get down. I look at some of my friend’s and I think, why couldn’t I be pretty like them? I look at their houses and I think, Why couldn’t I have a house like theirs? Why couldn’t my children be as well-behaved as The Duggers? Why couldn’t I wrHite like this blogger or this Author? Why couldn’t I have a voice like Carrie Underwood’s or a tush like Jennifer Lopez’s? Why? Why?
I get so tied up in looking around, that I get down, and defeated. My vision is blurry, and I have trouble seeing what’s directly in front of me; all my, many, many, blessings that are too abundant to count, and the path that’s paved just for me. The one, that only I, can travel.
I just simply need to heed my mother’s advice, from all those years ago, “Get your eyes of your surroundings
everyone else and focus on what’s in front of you.”
otherwise, you will be car sick, unhappy, and your road will go untraveled. A destination never achieved.