Within a week of quitting my job, I found myself on a road trip with my Dad. Driving from Delaware to Central Florida along I-95, you cover over 1,000 miles and pass through 5 additional states and the District of Columbia along the way. The drive was long and arduous, particularly the return leg. On the way down, we’d broken our journey with an overnight stay in Savannah. But on the way back, although we’d planned to do the same with a stop in Virginia, we decided to push on, completing the journey the same day. We arrived safely home after 16 hours of driving (19 hours in total, if you include the rest stops).
Unfortunately, my Dad couldn’t help with the driving as originally planned, so it was down to me. Driving that far single-handedly is the furthest I’ve ever driven in my life. While I’ve driven this route with my husband several times before, we usually split the driving, with him doing the majority of the miles. I guess that my conventional upbringing has conditioned me to see driving as a “man’s job”, and so when I’m in a car with my husband (or any man, for that matter), I tend to leave the driving to him.
Despite feeling light-headed and experiencing some numbness in my limbs that lingered for a couple of days, I felt proud for pushing myself and for doing something that I never thought I would or could do. Completing the long and challenging drive had uplifted me, making me really feel alive.
Like a scene from a cartoon, where a light bulb suddenly appears above someone’s head, I suddenly got it. This is what this hiatus from my career is all about. It’s about doing things that take me out of my comfort zone, stretching me beyond my self-imposed limits. It’s about achieving small personal victories that stimulate, uplift and inspire me. Lastly, by sharing what I learn along the way (the good, the bad and the ugly), I hope that I might inspire others to stretch themselves a little.