I like thinking of things that happen to me in the context of everything that happens as a result of it. Let me explain: I arrived home last Saturday after spending the day with my sister and noticed my car in the driveway, the back tire was flat. Thankfully, her boyfriend saved the day and helped me by replacing the tire with the spare. I knew steps to changing the tire but I had never seen it done. By the way, the only way to know how to change a tire is to dive in and just change it.

But anyways, a storm blew in on Sunday, so I had to wait until Monday to get it taken care of. I drove along the back roads through the city of Tallahassee to a discounted tire shop. If you’ve ever driven in Tallahassee, then you know of the narrow, winding roads with potholes and stoplight after stoplight. I winced at every bump and tried maintaining a constant speed to accommodate my fragile little spare tire.

I eventually arrived at the tire place that claimed to have discounted tires, all I can say now is that they lied. I dropped the car off, thankful that it was placed in the queue, realized I didn’t want to wait for over an hour because it was past twelve and I was starving, so what did I do? Called an Uber. Best decision I made all day.

I never enjoy having to call an Uber. One, I don’t like getting into a stranger’s car alone. Two, I really don’t like spending money. And three, you never know what personality your Uber driver will have. However, I was desperate for a ride back to the other side of town. So I called, and Theo picked me up.

I planned on texting my sister to let her know where I was but, then Theo asked me how my day was going. If you were to read this article in the 1940’s, you would be shocked at what I’m about to say, but I was surprised when he asked me because he didn’t ask to make small talk or to fill the silence. The radio was still blaring out of the speakers behind me, so awkward silence wasn’t an issue.

He genuinely wanted to know how I was doing and I appreciated that. It’s different from most passing experiences we have in modern society. So, instead of texting my sister with updates, I talked to Theo and learned he’s a really cool guy.

I learned how hard he works, driving for Uber an hour before work and during his lunch breaks every day to save enough money to take his wife on a trip to Paris and Rome. I learned that his real job is pretty sweet, working for the university in the college that houses my major, and he is a Navy veteran who flew fighters.

I usually never go to that side of town during the day, it’s out of the way from the college and completely on the opposite side of the city from where I live. However, my tire was randomly punctured on the side and in need of repair. If I didn’t take my tire to that one shop then I wouldn’t have met Theo. If my tire didn’t go flat in the first place, I wouldn’t have met him, nor would I have actually learned how to change a tire.

I like to think of things that happen holistically. What caused it and what did it cause? Dealing with an unrepairable tire was expensive and inconvenient but I really don’t mind that.

Life happens, and it’s nice when you can take some time during your lunch break to drive around with a friend and just talk. Theo told me he enjoys driving for Uber because he enjoys meeting new people because relationships are the most important things to have in life. I agreed with him.

It’s amazing that what we need most in life is something that we can create on our own.