The New Order of my World

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Status: In Progress  |  Genre: Young Adult  |  House: Booksie Classic

I finally learned to drive and had my own car... would it change my life for the better, or worse?

"'Cause everything is different now."

Onesidezero's words reverbrated over the creaky but functioning stereo of my first and so-far only car, the 1987 Escort wagon inherited from my grandfather who had passed some five months ago, as it cruised down Greenleaf as I went to score a bite to eat. Everything WAS different now--but would my meeting this unlikely rite of passage the mainstream, neurotypical society took for granted prove to be a boon, or a bane?

20 might be far from elderly, but for middle-class suburban southern California, it was a downright geriatric age to finally procure one's license and take the wheel. Driving simply was never a priority, not even when said Grandpa's passage eliminated a large source of my personal chauffeuring. So, what finally blew away that fog of apathy and apprehension? My middling level of motivation to go and seal the deal with a driving test wasn't sufficiently kicked into high gear until I rediscovered my first love. Expecting family to drive me to the desert to capture winged passions I could otherwise merely dream about was just a bridge too far--and I knew it.

The antithesis of prepared, I nonetheless pulled confidently into the test stall alert at the Bell Gardens DMV, maneuvering correctly through the rivers of orange cones and completing few, if any, of the required moves unsatisfactorily. The Lord may not have always given me what I wanted, but he always came through, at just the right time, with what I needed in my life. This would not be an exception. In just minutes, I went from perpetual parasite infinitely bumming rides to master of my destiny here and forever after.


"I have seen the difference, but I am older now."

Starting my third year of college would seem to be just a smidge of old hat--what would diverge so drastically from the prior two? Oh, yeah... just about all of it. Overnight, I became "one of the guys". I was free; free to stay out until any hour I chose, free to go be with any of my friends for however as long or as briefly as I desired, free to go to any church or youth group I wanted, free to do any retreats or camping trips that caught my fancy, free to begin dating. Liberation was the sweetest of horchata.

About that last thing... I was sure I had it all figured out in girls. After all, I was twenty years old! Any believing woman with whom a mutual interest existed would be a quality girlfriend, right? Of course, the reality was something entirely different. Partly this was due to my admitted inexperience... partly this was due to my limited options in my fairly small pond, and of course the real truth was that I didn't know what to look for, because it didn't exist. Those people who had any voice at all in my life to try to reach me attempted to guide in the right direction. My boss told me I needed to find someone I had things in common with. A friend from my high school Christian Club I had kept in some level of touch with advised me to seek girls who enjoyed talking philosophy, etc.

It wasn't that I didn't appreciate the input--I did--it's that it was in Greek. I had never known either in my two decades on the planet, so they could have been advising me to find a monkey that knows algebra to tutor me in math. They could have told me to go and seek out a polka-dotted baseball in the nitrogenous gases of Jupiter's rings. It was information I had no way of applying, because I thought like a child... I WAS a child, in a man's body; surely 1st Corinthians 13:11 was written JUST for me. Ultimately, I didn't know myself half as much as I thought I did. If someone, some girl, liked me, they would just grow right along with me... right?


"Offer me new institutions, here's something that you can rely!"

So, I went along in my journey, so familiar and so revolutionary. My classes were a bit brighter and clearer, seen through my new rose-tinted glasses. I traversed the lawns and courtyards with more swagger and moxie--I possessed in my fingertips and garage all that would be necessary to conquer the world. Life was good, and I was the star of it.

Yeah. You've probably heard that one before, and in the short term anyway the anticipation failed to meet the facts on the ground soon enough. Nevertheless, it was a beginning; the dawn of the rest of my time on this coil. The actuality was things weren't exciting yet... but they would be within well under a year.

Wish me luck, older B!


(Italicized lyric quotes all belong to OneSideZero, and/or whoever wrote these words for the song "New World Order". Pictured vehicle is not the actual one from the story; it is my second car.)



Submitted: September 03, 2021

© Copyright 2023 ButterflyB. All rights reserved.

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