I’ve been going back and forth lately with a decision I hope to make in the next few days. I think logic is telling me one thing and my heart is telling me another, and they are both pulling at me equally as strong.
Do I go with an over-the-road trainer for a week or two, or do I jump in the truck with Adam right away and hit the road?
I know, it doesn’t seem like a major dilemma, and it probably isn’t. But seriously… I just can’t seem to make up my mind, and it’s driving me batty. Welcome to my thought processes —
I honestly think either way, I’ll be fine. I can be ready. But…
I’ve been training with a local trainer, and it’s been great for experience. I’ve been driving on the highway, in the city, practicing cornering in new areas, dealing with traffic that doesn’t see me as a student driver (because it’s not written on my trailer!), coupling and uncoupling, backing… lots of really good stuff that I’ll need to know. But I haven’t been over-the-road yet. I haven’t dealt with electronic logs. I haven’t driven in mountains. I haven’t slept in a truck in a strange city. I haven’t dealt with eating and exercise away from home. I haven’t experienced weigh stations, scales, inspections or tolls. I haven’t had to… well, I don’t know! What else do I need to learn?
The thing that’s making this decision hard is that I fully trust that Adam can teach me these things – the things I haven’t learned about being over-the-road while working with a local trainer. But Adam also tells me what a great trainer this guy is that I’d be going with, so he’s feeling torn, too. He wants me to have that experience with the trainer, but he wants to be driving with me as his partner. We both want that. Bad. It seems like an easy decision, right? Go with the trainer for a bit, be patient, and then Adam and I will be driving together. Well, unfortunately my heart is screaming at me to jump in with Adam. NOW. I don’t know how much more emotion and stress I can take with this anticipation. We’re so close, and it seems like every week we’re almost there… and then it gets extended. Making the decision to go with Adam as soon as possible feels solid. And the bonus is that it allows us to feel excited and giddy.
I know Adam doesn’t expect me to be a pro at this right off the bat. I know he is willing to help me with things I need help with. But I also know he doesn’t want me to feel inferior in any way (he’s told me that). We’re in this together. A team. It would probably help me feel more comfortable having that “training” experience, but maybe it would be fun to just have those experiences learning and growing with him. Trusting him, enjoying letting him show me things and teach me from his experiences. I know he’s safe, he’s thorough, and he follows the rules and the laws. I know he would teach me right.
But what to do… I feel like I might be cheating myself out of a valuable experience skipping the company’s over-the-road trainer, but I also feel like I could be cheating myself out of a very cool growing experience for me and Adam.
I guess if I could choose a very specific path, I’d do one run with the company trainer. Something no more than about five days. Just enough to get a few nights on the road to get a feel for driving for hours, maybe some mountains, big city traffic, truck stops, diet, e-logs… Then when that’s done, I could go with Adam, but not run as a full-on team. When we’re running as a full-on team, we’ll be on opposite shifts. When he’s sleeping I’ll be driving, and vice versa. So if we ran kind of like one-and-a-half for a week or two so he and I can find a rhythm, a routine, and figure out our best ways to work together in this new environment… that would probably work. Ah, but what do I know!?
I don’t know if any of this will be up to me, anyway. I get the feeling that I could potentially have a say in what it is I want to do, but how much can I ask for? How specific can I be? I certainly don’t want to push it. I’m new here. I don’t want to disappoint anyone. I want to help Adam, and I want to be as good as I possibly can be at this job.
A big part that is overwhelmingly leaning me towards jumping in the truck with Adam after all this thought, is that I worry he’s going to go completely nutso. He wants to be more patient, and feels sorry that he’s having a hard time controlling his anxiousness. I don’t blame him. He’s doing a job he already knows he doesn’t enjoy – he enjoys truck driving, just not as a solo driver. He’s been there. Done that. And he’s left it behind. He came back to finally fulfill his dream to team drive with me. And now he’s back there. Solo. It yanks at my heart to see him struggle through this part of the journey, and I want more than anything to make it better.
And it comes down to this in my mind, once again:
Either way, we’ll be fine. In a few weeks we’ll have it all down, just like any new job, whether I go with the trainer or not. So why not just jump in and go with Adam right now? Why not?
Tonight I love the unknown. Because sometimes I have to remind myself that it is a great joy in this great big little life…