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Proving Impossible Wrong

February 27, 2013 - Author: KishaLynn Elliott
It's true!

It’s true!

Have you ever thought something was impossible, only to be proven wrong? Here’s an example from my life:

I didn’t learn to drive until I was 19. My aunt gave me 6 driving lessons during the summer of 1999 in Columbus, OH, then I took my driver’s test, barely passing.

Two weeks later I was in LA attending Occidental College on a domestic exchange program. I had landed an internship and a film production company which required me to drive one hour each way every Monday from Eagle Rock to Santa Monica, on Los Angeles’ worst freeways:

Imagine trying to figure this out after only 6 driving lessons

Imagine trying to figure this out after only 6 driving lessons

The 405, the 10, and the 110. A brand new friend in my dorm offered me his car to use.

The first day I was to report to work was also the first time I had ever driven in a vehicle by myself, was only my 8th time behind the wheel at all, and my aunt had NEVER taken me on the freeway during my lessons. Now here I was alone, with printed directions 2 pages and 5 freeways long. I just knew I would die, crash, or both. I crept up to the 1st on-ramp, took a deep breath, hit the gas and merged into traffic.

It was the scariest thing I ever experienced.

I took the wrong freeways. I went south when I was supposed to go North. East instead of west. I either missed exits because I didn’t know how to use the signs to determine when and where to merge, or kept accidentally exiting the freeway trying to stay in the “slow lane”. People LAID on their horns at me. I swerved that car like it was doing the Dougie. The tires screeched every time I stopped. In fact, my only saving grace was the infamous LA bumper to bumper traffic, where at least things were moving slowly enough to figure things out, or were altogether stopped, allowing me to look at the printed directions.

Thank God for the traffic--it was my only chance to slow down and breathe!

Thank God for the traffic–it was my only chance to slow down and breathe!

I didn’t think it would EVER be possible for me to get comfortable behind the wheel. After Day 1 on the internship, I broke down and cried in my dorm room, partly because I was relieved to be alive and back on campus, and partly because I was terrified to have to do it again the following Monday and every Monday after. My brain was saying “This is impossible, you have to quit the internship.” My heart said “This is possible. You’ve proven it all ready by doing it once. Just keep going. It will get easier.”

I did and it did. That internship taught me two things–that I am NOT destined to work in Hollywood, and how to drive…on the freeway. I inwardly giggle about it now every time I’m behind the wheel of Billie, my convertible. It’s a stick shift–another “impossibility” I overcame years later.

Now anytime I’m faced with the challenge of learning something new, and am failing so miserably at the onset that it seems impossible, I just remember the 405, and power forward anyway.

How will you prove impossible wrong in your life? Please comment and let me know.


Just keep steering!

Just keep steering!

Neil Kremer / / CC BY-ND LA freeways
Photo credit: JefferyTurner / / CC BY
Photo credit: meghannash / / CC BY
Clotee Pridgen Allochuku / / CC BY



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Letting Go of My iDevices

February 9, 2013 - Author: KishaLynn Elliott

There’s a white elephant in the room with me at all times.

Well, more like a white device. It’s my iPhone and I am thoroughly, completely and admittedly totally addicted to it. I reach for it in the morning instead of my wife. I hold it close to me at night just before I go to sleep instead of my wife. (Oh yeah, you get the real me! Up close and sometimes a little too personal…) In fact, in any given moment that I’m not task­mastering and swiping away at my iPhone beneath my thumbs…I have my iPad in its place. Scrolling, tapping, pinching, repeat. All day, all night…everywhere, around everyone.

Both of these iDevices are as much problem for me as they are solutions. I should call them iVices. With them, I’m rarely fully present in the moment. I get easily distracted. AND MY FREAKING WRISTS HURT! Thus I’ve decided that this year for the 40 days of Lent, they’ve gotta go.

I’m not Catholic. I’m a very open­minded non­fundamentalist Christian if I bear any religious label at all. I love me some Jesus. However I am a firm believer in the benefits of occasional fasting, and have used it as a tool to great impact many times in my adult life. I have been participating in a fast during Lent since 2008, and each has been largely successful and valuable. Well, except for last year when I failed miserably at fasting from sleeping in, the snooze button and naps. Bygones…

There’s not many additional vices in my life that I could give up in the “spirit of Lent”­­–true sacrifices–­­without repeating something I’ve already done. I enjoy new challenges as part of the fun of personal development and growth. So this year, as I thought about it I found myself zeroing in where I knew it would hurt…and help.

Now I’m taking it a step further in the commitment to let the world know. I’m doing so early because preparing for this fast requires a good deal of advance preparation. Just because I won’t be using these devices doesn’t mean I can or will give up the functionality these devices provide for me. I’m putting plan in place that transitions the essential purposes these devices serve elsewhere. For starters, I’m borrowing a plain old flip phone from my mom for phone calls and messages. My MacBook Pro will become my sole internet access source, rather than a clunky charger for my iDevices. Calendar, tasks and notes will return to paper. Fun will be found and had in the non­-app real life happening around me. I even dug out our digital camera. God help me in figuring out how to navigate without a blue dot and a disembodied voice telling me where to go. This…should be interesting!

Stay tuned wherever you follow me, as I will share this experience as I go along. I know am not the only one with this problem, which means this is an opportunity for me to do another thing I’m addicted to: helping others. :)

How about you? Are you giving up something for Lent? Or is there just something you could use less of, or none of in your life? What’s your plan to address it? I’d love to know­­and help. Reply to this email, post on the Facebook page, or tweet me @CoachKishaLynn, #iDevicefast

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