On Driving and Thriving: A Letter to my Scooter


Dear Scooter,

We’re such good friends now that this may come as a shock, but here’s the truth.

I didn’t like you at first.

In fact, I fought long, hard and tearfully to keep you out of my life. My husband wanted you from nearly the minute we landed in Indonesia, but not me. People said I’d feel more comfortable once I got to know the scooter-centric roads and traffic patterns; I wasn’t buying it.

My first solo drive to a cafe with a friend.

My first solo drive to a cafe with a friend.

But then something changed. Slowly at first and then all at once, I started to feel stuck. Walking to the grocery store was a taxing affair, and meeting a friend for coffee was sometimes more draining than rejuvenating. I wasn’t thriving like I could be, and it was because I was afraid. I knew what I had to do.
What’s black, white, and scary all over? You, sitting in our driveway for the first time. Do you remember our first “drive” together? I was practically walking you with your engine running while talking to myself. Don’t fall. Don’t cry. And whatever you do, don’t fall and then cry.

But here we are a year later.

A scooter mountain adventure with friends in language school.

A scooter mountain adventure with friends in language school.

Scooter, nothing shows me how dramatically I’ve adapted to this culture like when I veer you into heavy traffic without a blink. Nothing fills me with confidence like when we weave around town with a bag of groceries on your hook. Nothing gives me the sense of freedom and space I need on this small island like when we go out for a long sunset drive, just the four of us—God, you, me, and that inevitable bug in my eye.

I still have my fears about you and I always will. But I’m looking both ways, wearing my helmet, and learning to manage with my fears without living out of them. I’m driving and thriving in this new season and place. And I have you, dear scooter, to thank for it.

Learn about the other steps, besides attending language school, that MAF candidates do to prepare for their overseas mission work:

To learn about the opportunities to serve overseas with MAF visit: https://www.maf.org/serve/overseas

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