Last week, I was driving to Starbucks to get myself a delicious cafe latte (I’d travel through snow and ice for my steaming cup of caffeine) when my tire blew out. It happened just as I parked in a spot. I got out of the car and assessed the situation. I then ordered my coffee (I know where my priorities lie) and called a tow truck to come rescue me. I’m embarrassed to admit that I can’t change a tire or change the oil or even change the floor mats of my car. No matter how many times my parents and then my husband devoted to teaching me all things “car,” I can say with absolute confidence that I am mechanically challenged. My sister, on the other hand, is a prodigy. Me, not so much. When God handed out those skills at birth, he forgot to give me some. Now, ask me to whip up a creme brulee and I am all over it. I make it with my eyes closed but give me a jack and a lug wrench and I wouldn’t be able to tell you what they do to save my life. I’d likely play it like the triangle, thinking it must be a type of a “new age” musical instrument. Anyway, I digress. The point is I was stuck at Starbucks with nowhere to go. I couldn’t go back home unless I wanted to walk the miles to get back home in high heel boots (not likely). I couldn’t even leave the parking spot of the strip mall. All I could do was sip my coffee and enjoy Starbuck’s free wifi on my cell phone while I waited for the tow. As far as places to get stuck goes, Starbucks isn’t exactly the worst place to be, but no matter I was still stuck.
And as I waited for the cavalry to arrive, I thought about all the times I felt stuck in my life. I recalled the countless times I felt rooted in place and frozen in time, paralyzed by circumstances. We’ve all experienced those moments, the feeling of being helpless, barely able to keep our heads above water in a storm that is life. We’ve all felt the dreadful knot in the pit of our stomach where we didn’t know what to do next.
In fact, it’s this pivotal “stuck” moment that forms the basis of all of my books. The main character is stuck in a dead-end job or in a dead-end relationship, and they reach a point of no return where they realize they either need to make a drastic change or languish. And we can all relate to that, can’t we? A need to make a change, to get “unstuck.” Sometimes, we have to take risks in order to see change. The heroines in my books do exactly that and it’s why I love them. They are relatable. They take on the challenge full-on without thought as to how scary it is. They change direction, and in changing direction, their lives are the better for it. They find a new career, they find humor, they find love. They find their happiness. They become “unstuck.”
So two cups of lattes later and within an hour of my tire fiasco, the tow truck finally came and took my car to the nearest mechanic where my tire was changed and I was on my merry way back home. It’s then that I realized. All you need to do is take that first baby step to change course. For me, it started with a flat tire to become “unstuck.”