Have you ever had one of those days when it feels like things go from bad to worse? We think to ourselves, “You couldn’t write this!” We sit in our cars at a stop light thinking, “Why is this happening? Please stop!” And the rain begins to pour! Yesterday, I had one of these days and throughout the experience I kept trying to stay positive and learn from it.

It started with taking my car in for a regular checkup to my mechanic. Mind you, I had been putting this off for a while and expected it wouldn’t just be a “regular” (aka inexpensive) trip. So I went off and did my business and got a call about 2:00pm. Dean, my trusty Volvo mechanic gave me the news. Let’s just say it wasn’t pretty. Amy (yes, that’s my car’s name and no don’t ask, that’s a story for a different time) has 280,000 miles on her and runs like a champ. Every now and then she needs a little massage and some extra loving. Slightly off topic, let’s refocus and cut to the chase. Amy decided she wanted a new diamond ring under the hood. She wanted a little transmission loving. Anyone that knows the slightest thing about cars knows that you never want to hear the word transmission from your mechanic. Needless to say, Dean said, “We should probably keep it here overnight and I will give her some loving in the morning.” (Okay Okay he may not have said that but something to those regards). Let’s just say, this story is going to have a “case of the funnies” since how the rest of the past 24 hours has unfolded.

Knowing my car was going to be in the shop overnight, I was going to need a ride. Luckily, I called my dad who was in the area and he was going to let me use his ride. Furthermore, a friend of mine had asked if I’d partake in her speed dating event which was scheduled for last night. She asked me to do it like a month ago and I’ve always tried to keep my word with things. Honestly, after the headaches (literally & figuratively) and the sore throat I’ve had coming on I thought to myself, “I’m going to pass on love tonight, lol.” But I still decided to go last-minute. So I took my dad’s car and drove the 40 minutes it takes me to get downtown to support my friend and maybe find love. I rushed down to the venue and arrived minutes behind. I followed my GPS on my phone and spotted the location. Then, I discovered the first place I could park and that was under the downtown Macy’s which was across the street from Whired where I was going. I parked my dad’s car, locked it, and jogged over to the event.

Speed Dating happened. LOL, I’ll leave it at that. This story isn’t much about that but stay tuned for that possibly in an upcoming blog haha. The speed dating event wrapped up and I embraced participants in light conversation and started to make my way to exit. 9:27pm and I walked out of the event ready to grab my dad’s car and get to bed. Little did I know, my night had just begun.

I walked out of the venue and got ready to walk across the street back to the parking garage and something looked funny. I gazed and thought that looks funny. I couldn’t quite believe my eyes so I walked closer to the parking garage entrance. Imagine what your face would look like if you saw a concrete wall in place where you were suppose to exit your car. I looked around in disbelief that the parking garage not only was closed at 9:29pm in Downtown Sacramento but there was no sign or phone number for people to call. On the outside of this garage, I promise you (with my college education) there was no sign that said this place closed. Knowing me, I wasn’t going to take no for an answer. I started to walk around the building and I found a security guard at a parking garage right next to the one I parked in. I asked Brian about my situation and he gave me a blank stare. Therefore, I walked around this giant shopping center. I passed some sketchy people and went under a tunnel, down a dark alley, and let’s just say I was not in a good part of town at a good time of night. I finally found the only other entrance/exit to this garage and it was locked up with a fence. I called the sheriff, I called the city of Sacramento, and I posted on Facebook for help. I couldn’t believe this, never in my life have I been locked out from getting my car (well in this ironic situation, my dad’s car). I was flabbergasted.

The call. I called my dad and let him know what was going on. Turned out, I had his key to his office. It was on his car key ring that I had. He said, “Well, I’m going to need that key to get to work in the morning.” So the option of staying with a friend downtown and waiting it out wasn’t going to work. $90.00 taxi ride later and I was back to his house. Arriving in the early hours of the night, I didn’t get much sleep. Stayed at his house and woke up early to give him his office key and take a taxi with him to his office and then back down to my car 40 minutes away. Another $100.00 cab ride. I picked up his car and took it back to him. Then, I signed up and took my first Uber ride ever from his office to my car in the shop. Um… I know I’m late to the party but Uber is amazing! lol

$1,400 dollars later, Amy is back in action. Throughout all of this, I was thinking “why?” What does this all mean? I was thinking, “I couldn’t make this story up!” The one night my car was in the shop. The car I was borrowing gets locked out. My dad needed his office key. Taxi’s and repairs. And speed dating!? lol… Unbelievable. The Big Guy Upstairs only gives us what we can handle and a lot of times its for us to learn and take meaning. As hard as it gets, and sometimes it all comes beating down on us at once… it’s in these moments our patience and fortitude are tested. Times like these we’re reminded how important and valuable faith can be in our lives. These were minor insignificant “first world problems” that made me think how grateful I am to have wonderful friends that were there to help, my dad who has always been there, and God for giving me challenges to grow and deepen in his understanding of our meaning for living.

The meaning for life… each day we’re given choices to make. The past 24 hours I could’ve yelled and screamed at John (the owner of the venue) and I could’ve mentally put myself in negative mindset around how expensive those cab rides were. But I focused on Him the entire time. Especially when I was walking down that dark alley and 4 sketchy men followed me, I was praying for safety in that moment to get to the other side. I was focusing on Him and asked for clarity, understanding, and the ability to listen to what He was teaching me. When times aren’t hot, cool off with meditation, prayer, and/or positive thoughts because we attract what we give out.

More about Garage Issue Here: sacbee.com (Below is a passage I dug up on this)

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