The DMV and Me

It would be unfair to say that all of my Department of Motor Vehicle (DMV) visits have been horrific, but a good portion of them in my youth resulted in multiple trips for the correct documents and/or encountering personnel that appeared overworked or unenthusiastic about serving customers. As a result, I expected trauma normally reserved for a zombie apocalypse when traveling to the DMV this morning.

Imagine my surprise, then, when I visited Monticello, NY and left with my newly registered vehicle in less than ten minutes. Truth – I walked in, presented my license and credit card and it was time to go home before I could say, “Holy Turnaround, Batman!”

So, what happened here? Where was the retriggering of old trauma when I was stared down by Mrs. Cuchafusco with the red pen who said, “Nope. You don’t have the right stuff, young man. Goodbye. Next!”

One possibility is that the DMV has turned around, that they’ve fixed their issues and it’s a more customer-centered place.

Another is a 60-year-old guy like me is going to get treated better than a 20 or 30-year-old version of yours truly.

Or, could it be that I had a simple problem that didn’t jibe with the anxiety or disappointment that I was projecting onto this governmental institution? In other words, “much ado about nothing” was inside of me, not in the building.

Based on my work in Adult Children of Alcoholics (ACA), I’m inclined to think that fear of authority has dissipated, that I am no longer reacting like I did when old bosses or teachers were just doing their jobs. This is in the Promises we read at the end of each group call and I’m tickled pink that attending weekly meetings, doing the Steps and checking in with my sponsor has brought me to a place where I am evolving into this new version of me – my True Self.

And here’s what’s interesting: one of the main reasons that I have not pursued a musical career in Nashville, LA or NY is that I was afraid of authority. The idea of a big guy in a big building behind a big desk with a big cigar was my version of the zombie apocalypse brought on by childhood trauma. So, I wonder – how long will it be before I revisit those people or companies or those opportunities I’ve left behind out of fear? Is there still time?

Let’s see what the Adventure brings my way.

P.S. For those fans of Bradley out there, I’m happy to report that he’s been his usual, happy self. I’m so glad that we didn’t prematurely euthanize him. If anything, I’m more in love with him than ever before, showering him with attention which feels good for both of us.

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