The First Step

The First StepI had a little black car then.

It sat baking in the early summer heat as I said my final farewells.

Goodbye to my family.

Goodbye to the little town I never really fit in with.

Goodbye to the memories both sweet and saddening.

I put both hands on the steering wheel of that little black car, knuckles white. It was my saving grace. It was my chariot of freedom. I put my foot on the gas pedal. And as I drove away,

I smiled.

The first step is always the hardest.

A baby’s feet on the carpet. A teenager’s Vans on the gas peddle. A father’s stride next to his youngest daughter in her wedding gown. A hesitant shuffle outside the expectant conference room.

The first step is always the hardest.

A realization of the necessity to change. A new opportunity. An outlook of hope.

As I drove that little black car, I focused intently on what I was driving away from. Sadness, anxiety, reputation, numbness, regret. I didn’t notice them following me along. I didn’t recognize them inside the car. They were hidden under the seat, burrowed within my baggage.

I was so intent on driving away that I didn’t see what I was driving towards. But I see it now.

I drove the car towards hope and opportunity. I drove it towards independence and freedom. I drove it towards a journey of healing.

I drove that little black car towards the southern Appalachian Mountains. The First Step

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