My last big project of this size, surrogacy, may seem to be completely different than my current blue-collar endeavor, yet I find a remarkable number of symmetries between the two experiences. Surrogacy began as a long-nagging thought about what else I can do with my life, much like my passion for the open road. Surrogacy implies to many outsiders like a financial boon, which interestingly a number of people have likewise said to me about truck driving, but neither pursuit ever came from a place of monetary desire. Carrying a child, as any parent will tell you, lasts longer than nine months, and I approached both projects as if making a long-term commitment to both. And of course, by the end of my pregnancies the fact that I looked about the size of a tractor-trailer just reinforces that both come with an embrace of my less flattering external qualities.
On the inside, of course, what motivates me to endure multiple medical procedures and months of hormonal injections, to stretch my physical and mental endurance, and to propel my progress in a forward, focused direction all dips into the same wellspring that defines my character and defies my limits. Converting those same driving forces to steer me into my new career may feel different on the outside (not that climbing into a 1990s cab over is that different from saddling up in a pair of stirrups other than the attire), but forcing myself out of my comfort zone, far beyond the point where the comfort zone is even visible, has happened before and is about to happen again.
Driving a tractor-trailer requires a significant measure of attention to a myriad of details. From the pre-trip inspection to the constant scanning of the horizon, from the adherence to the guidelines to the safety and security of the company’s rig and the customer’s goods, the extensive responsibilities of a driver direct all of the attention for the vehicle’s well being to the one person who must manage and control the entire effectiveness of the transportation and delivery of the haul. Carrying someone else’s baby certainly has its own list of responsibilities for a successful delivery, and knowing I have successfully done one, leads me to believe I can do them both.
I recall my first moment behind the steering wheel. The voice in my head drew from my past experiences and my motivating skill set, but the eye-hand coordination of steering through offtracking, the intricacies of a backing maneuver, and the mastering of the shifting gears and double clutching tells me that I need to learn the dexterities of my craft and convince my body that it can meet the challenge embraced by my mind. Much like driving a syringe into muscle, I know I can garner the intricate abilities necessary to breath life into my new career, and that I can apply who I am on the inside to what I can do on the outside. I’ve got this. Oh, and did I mention both come with their own comfortable wardrobes?