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We were on a road trip for a week, a plan my dad devised right before I left for college. I was 17 and my dad, the previous year, had purchased one of his dreams - a Corvette. My dad loved to play blackjack so during our road trip we hit all the major gambling cities along the way. I got to lay in the sun and swim in the pool and while I didn't actually play he did teach me how to play blackjack and I even got to play some slots. Seriously, everything - even security at casinos - was easier in 1990! We of course visited my aunt in Big Bear as planned and spent some time at Disneyland. It was a full trip and my dad was tired - I think from his late night gambling sessions! ;) On our journey home he asked me if I wanted to drive. “WHAT? YOUR CAR?" Of course I did. It had been five days of driving, talking and exploring the West Coast and I had not even thought of getting behind the wheel. I had been content sharing the experience and taking naps in the passenger seat. When I took the wheel traffic was light. No problem. A red Corvette with a 17-year-old at the helm - it seemed very Beverly Hills anyway. Dad clearly wasn’t worried because as soon as we switched seats, he quickly fell asleep. "I got this" - I said to myself as I gripped the wheel excitedly. After about an hour everything was still going great. My dad was snoring, and I was driving a Corvette. And not just in a parking lot - I was really driving it! Time went on and traffic began to build. It happened slowly but soon I found myself driving next to a concrete barrier on my left and on my right, all I could see were the tires of what I now know as a huge semi. There were cars in front of me and someone kissing my back bumper. I was definitely feeling stuck and scared.

What I was thinking was, “Holy crap, I can’t wreck his car.” (Funny that I wasn’t worried about our lives.) I started taking inventory....

I can't move my hands off the wheel to wake my dad. I tried calling his name but I wasn't successful. I didn't dare wreck his car!

After some time I hear a voice. No not God’s, but at that moment the next best thing - my dad's! “How you feeling Anna?” he asked. “NOT GOOD DAD IM EITHER GOING TO HIT THAT BARRIER OR THAT SEMI IS GOING TO HIT ME. THERE IS SOMEONE ON MY BUTT AND I DON'T KNOW WHAT TO DO!” I took a breath and then, “DAD, THIS CAR IS SO SENSITIVE AND SQUIRRELY I'M AFRAID TO DO ANYTHING AND WHAT DO I DO IF THE SEMI TURNS INTO US?" After a little more discussion, we both realized what I was really frightened of: the choice the other driver might make. The possibility of the semi driver turning into us and I had no control over that. I clearly wasn't focusing on what I could control. After a few moments (and a few deep breaths on my part, and my dad said "Anna?" “Yes, Dad?” “Keep your eyes where you want to go. Focus on what you can control and you will get where you want to go.” "Okay… What?” "You have no control over what he might do so don’t focus on that. Keep looking to where you want to go and follow your own path. Your own decisions will guide you to the outcome, not the decisions of someone else." "Dad?" I said.

"Yes grub?"

"I understand. Right now I want to focus on getting off the highway but I feel stuck."

He laughed and said, "Okay then let's make it happen... I believe in you and I know you believe in yourself because you got behind the wheel in the first place. So let's get out of here and get something to eat!" As easy as that he helped me come up with a plan and take action. Within a few minutes I was safely out of the driver's seat. I did learn a valuable lesson. Well, three, really. 1) Keep your eyes where you want to go. 2) Even when you may think you're stuck there is always a solution. 3) I could always count on my dad for wisdom and unlimited belief in me, even if I lacked it myself.

I've used this lesson in my life many many times. Sometimes I forget, that is true, but the times I remember I always succeed. I hope that you can remember this lesson too and always TRY to keep your eyes where you want to go.

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