Over holiday break I drove from our quaint little coastal town in Maine to New York City.

statue of liberty at night

I was so nervous in Boston that I let so many cars go by before I pulled into a merge. It made me doubt whether I had the confidence to drive in a big city.

It’s not that I had never driven in city traffic before. On the contrary, I first learned how to drive in Manila, the world’s most densely populated city and notorious for the worst traffic on Earth. I was taught how to be a defensive driver, able to weave in and out of congested traffic with the badasses.

When I moved to Stockton, California, I aced my driver’s license exam and learned how to follow the rules of the road. Speed limits, what a concept! Courtesy to other drivers, yes, please! Stopping at stop signs even when there was no one watching, my mind was blown! I became adept at both highway and neighborhood driving. I attained a balance of assertiveness and respect behind the wheel. I drove in New York City, San Francisco, Los Angeles, and everywhere in between.

Then I moved to Maine. I learned what winter driving was all about. I learned to be alert for wildlife. I learned to love the long and lonely country drives. All I needed was an awesome playlist and snacks for the road.

After the initial shock of Boston, I took a deep breath and eased myself into city driving through the rest of Massachusetts and Connecticut. By the time I drove into the parking garage directly across from my hotel in Times Square, I was back! You can take the girl out of the city, but you can’t take the city out of the girl.

It made me think about muscle memory and what other dormant skills I have that I would like to reawaken. Here’s a partial list: playing the piano, sight-reading sheet music, performing onstage, learning foreign languages, swimming, riding a bike, yoga…

The secret is to ease into it. Do a little bit more each day.

So here I am, taking a small step by blogging. Welcome me home!

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