Except that I am sorry. About pretty much anything. Especially when I'm behind the wheel: "Oh! Sorry! Sorry sir!" Perhaps I didn't realize you were coming into my lane, or maybe I thought I almost hit you or am afraid I cut you off. Apologies are also issued to my passengers: "Ah, I'm sorry this ride is so bumpy! I'm sorry if it's freezing in here!" Real talk: I just feel so self-conscious while driving. I feel like everyone knows what they're doing, and I'm the dunce who somehow snuck my car onto the road. (Of course, all of my passengers have said that I'm doing great, but self-consciousness and logic are fundamentally at odds!)
Last week, my in-session assignment was to drive from University City to Penn's Landing and back again while practicing changing lanes. After one too many panicked apologies, however, my therapist tweaked the assignment: "Alright, for every time you say 'I'm sorry,' you'll have to make an unnecessary lane change." That cured me real quick! I only racked up two "I'm sorry" lane changes after that! But with exposure therapy nearing its end, my therapist threw down some pretty intense homework assignments too: driving an unfamiliar route, driving on the highway alone, and perhaps the most challenging for a perfectionist with anxiety, driving on a whim. (A whim, what's that??)
So I spent a good bit of Memorial Day weekend 2015 behind the wheel, encountering new obstacles like a family of geese ("Seriously?!") and a dude in a wheelchair crossing City Ave BACKWARDS ("SERIOUSLY?!?!?"). But my whimsical outing remained incomplete until Monday. I'm used to planning everything--I mean, you really have to if you take public transport. (If you choose to go somewhere on a whim, you're gonna be waiting at the bus stop for awhile!) But when I ran out of breakfast bars Monday morning, a situation of whimsy presented itself: I could go to Target (via the highway) to get more.
So we all know that I love Target. It's great and comforting and sells everything you could ever want. But a problem with Target is that I can't get to one easily via Septa. If I am at Target, I'm either there with someone and feeling rushed (hello "I'm sorry" complex) or I'm stressing about getting Septa home. I never really get to do this:
What. a. delight. Running errands has never been so exciting, now that they take only as long as I want, and not as long as the bus route is (and heaven forbid I miss the bus. On a holiday?! Who knows the next time that thing's coming!). Oh, and I guess a secondary whim happened when I was on my way to Target and realized that I could also swing by Ulta, which is right next door. That's where I spotted this beauty: