How to drive a Dodge Durango.

We rented the car online through some site offering a deal for $12.00 a day. When I hit pay now it said the car would be small. Compact. 

When I got to Nashville and stepped off the plane immediately I felt seen. I have travelled to North Carolina, New York, Oregon and California for the last 5 years and I feel like I melt into them. Nashville was not melting me, even with my 1974 cowboy boots on. I adjusted my utility belt, pulled my kimono up on my shoulder and made my way to the rental car place. 

When I got there it was easy. Easiest rental ever. Sign here, initial here, go walk a mile to get your car. I arrive after 7 hours of airports and travel and blurry eyes and the eager guy waiting to help me takes my papers and says, "Oh, you have the special. Come to this row. Pick any car that has the trunk open. Keys are in the cupholder. Have a nice day."

I stand there looking at the sea of cars. Big cars. Pick any car? No walk around to look for dents? No nothing? Just pick a car? 

I walked down the row of cars and was watching people grab them up fast. The two small compact cars got their trunks closed fast. I had no idea what to pick. But I like gray. So I close the trunk of a gray Dodge. When I close it I realize how big it is. I kind of want to open it back up but there are people on both sides of me and I freeze up.

Keys in the cupholder. OK. Found it. It is dark in the row of cars and I have no idea how to turn the car light on. 

Let me pause the story here to tell you a couple of things. 

1. I am highly sensitive to the thousandth degree. Meaning. I like what I know, what is familiar and comfortable. I don't like surprises or change and adapting to newness takes me time. I thrive on change and it also destroys my nervous system for a while.

2. The other day Dave says, "Babe, when we buy our house one day, I am going to make you a circular driveway. Because I love you and reverse just isn't your thing."

3. I hate feeling embarrassed or looking wrong or admitting that I might be wrong or confused or just completely overwhelmed. I will go out of my way to pretend. It is something I'm ready to be done with, but it still exists as my go to.

4. I drive a 2003 Honda Odyssey Mini Van. Enough said.

Back to the Dodge.


I am sitting in this dark car, knowing I totally screwed up my choice but I can see the rental guys around so I just continue forward pretending to be totally cool.

The key has no key. Nothing. It is just the thing that has the buttons to unlock and lock on it. No little silver button that pushes the key out like Dave's car does.

I start to sweat. In Nashville 80 degree heat. I am having hot flashes. I see this little silver sliding thing on the key, so I slide it and all of a sudden the key goes flying out of it, landing under the drivers seat, or somewhere.

*Cue panic. *Cue nervous system shut down. *Cue every voice that has ever said I can't do just about anything.

Now I am on a mission. Find that f***ing key. Fast. I open the back door, move the front seat up, grab my phone, turn on the light, search.

I found it. I breathe a little better. Climb into the car that is pretty much a low lying bus and look for the place to put the key.

And. It doesn't exist. Nothing. Nada. Hot flashes pale in comparison to my life at this moment.

OK. Great. I found the one car that has nowhere to put the key. I am moving my hands everywhere on the dash and searching for something. And kind of praying that my right to rent this car doesn't get revoked.

And then. I see it. A button. Start. Stop. A button. A button. To start the car. Yup. A button.

I close the door slowly, hoping no one has noticed me yet. I push the button. The car starts. Then I search for how to put it in reverse. A little nobby thing. Ok, I can do this.


Please refer now to number 2 from up above.


As soon as I go into reverse this screen that has a million words and numbers and clearly wants to play me music, tell me my fortune, promise me the weather of my dreams and is also yelling at me to not get distracted by all the things it wants to do for me to make my life complete, that screen turns into a loud bright video camera of my reversing.

I start to pull back and then turn the wheel and then freak out. I have no idea how close to the cars behind me I am. I am not looking at the screen because it just yelled at me to stop looking at it. I pull forward. I try again.

One of the rental guys comes up and says, "You are fine, you have plenty of room." I try again. I slam on the breaks. He says, "You are fine, keep going." 


Side note. The gas and break are so sensitive to my touch that if I put my foot on the gas I am flying. So then I put my foot on the break and the car lunges forward. Stop start stop start. 



Then another rental guy who is with a couple who is renting a car in my row come up to my window. They tell me I am fine, have plenty of room. The other guy is now standing right behind the car trying to get me to back up into him.

I refuse to run over a human today. So I go back to start and stop. And he says, "You are fine, just back up."

The couple is in my window telling me I am fine. I look at them. I want run. I can't even speak.

Finally, I just say a prayer and put my foot on the gas and reverse, knowing full well I am not only going to run over this man but also crash into the car behind me.

I do it and the car is flying back, in like a second.

All of a sudden the car comes halting, fast. A crazy noise happens. The screen is flashing.

The man is alive. The car stopped itself before I ran him over.

All four of them are saying yay and I look out the window and I stutter... refer to number 3 above.

"It is sensitive, not like my mini van. I drive a mini van. I have kids. I swear I keep them alive on a daily basis."


I make it out of the parking lot and get to my first red light. The car stops running. Stops. The light turns green. I take my foot off the gas pedal to test what is happening. And the car starts itself back up. Every single time I put my foot on the break.

My nerves are like the class castles from Fraggle Rock. The car stops, the little glass inside me shatters. Starts up again. My nerves are now like inside of a bug zapper. Stop. Start. Zap. Zap.

Refer to number 1 above.


How do you drive a Dodge Durango? You just do. And you look like a fool. And you are a pile of shattered nerves. And you strategically park the whole weekend so when you have to reverse you will not run anyone or thing over.

You just drive it. Sweating. Freaking out. Wishing you had put the 'key' back in the cup holder and opened back up the trunk and continued down the row of cars until you found one that felt like you. But you didn't. And this is your lesson. That you can do it. All of it. Even when you are so uncomfortable. In a place, in a car, in an auditorium filled with 3,000 women who have a religious affiliation that is quite different from your own, in a city that you can't feel as comfort. You just do it.

You let yourself order the same salad for three nights because every place you try to eat has an hour and half waiting time and you have just spent the last 11 hours learning, talking all day to people you don't know. You let yourself go to bed when you are tired and you drink extra tea rather than go into a city you don't know alone and drink and try to be social. You wear your utility belt and leggings and leg warmers and quietly notice that you are the only one that you have seen with a nose piercing. You pay almost $5.00 each morning for a decaf coffee because that is your comfort. 

You drive. You talk to the car. (Refer to number 4, my mini van really shouldn't still be running and it just does. And when it is almost running out of gas, I talk to it, and I always always make it to a gas station. Sometimes the next day.) As you are driving and feeling out of control on the highway, not even sure you are within the lane you are in because it is the craziest car you have ever driven. You feel stupid. You cry. You sit in the car and cry before you talk to him on the phone, because you don't want him to know how freaked out you are. Because you want him to be proud of you, not worried or affirmed that you are completely whacked out and incapable. 

You long for someone you know to be near you. Then you drive. You get the salad. You make tea. You think about how inspired you are from what you have learned. The next morning you drive to a little coffee shop. The parking is easy, on the street, no reverse required.

You go in. It feels like you. Everything is gluten-free. They can make you eggs with kale. They have tattoos and you feel at home. You sit and sip. The glass castle is starting to build back up.

Another sip. Nerves repairing. Less zapping.

You climb back in the car. Push the button. Look at the screen yelling at you to not become distracted by it.

You drive forward. 

Your glass castle expands.

Your knowing of who you are is pure and true. 

1. 2. 3, and 4. All true. All OK. It is OK to be you. You are loved. Even if you can't drive in reverse and eat the same salad every night for dinner. 

All true. How do you drive a Dodge Durango? I truly am manifesting to never have to know again.