Just Ran Out of Gas

Andrea Arias
4 min readMay 19, 2022


And it was the best thing that could happen to me today.

“The car isn’t accelerating,” My husband said, alarmed. He was right. He swerved out of the hill we were climbing (in our defense, on the way to the gas station). We went into this little roundabout that serviced the back of an apartment complex adapted from an old flour factory. Well… we didn’t get to the actual roundabout, we stopped short, barely out of the high trafficked road just before taking the highway.

I found myself to be incredibly calm. We’re not from around here, meaning we’ve only lived here for almost 4 years. Our insurance doesn’t cover road assistance, but I trusted the local network we had built in the past couple of years — I knew it would all be fine.

He, on the other hand, was trying hard not to panic. A couple of minutes prior, he had something happen to him that never happened before: his shoelace came off, and he tripped. “I already know it’s going to be a bad day. This never happens”. He had said this 9 minutes before we ran out of gas as we walked up to the very same car that was about to leave us stranded.

“You think so?” I replied. Bracing. He had cursed the day — it wasn’t his fault. Work has been particularly stressful as of late, and me knowing the context, he was actually dealing with all the stress remarkably well. He still made it his mission to make me laugh at every chance he could. A class act.

So here we were without gas in a street we had never even acknowledged. Our insurance is shit, they just raised our rent by nearly $350, work stress — in short, all our shortcomings were exacerbated in our brains. We didn’t say anything to each other, but we knew what a bummer this was. What we did share was our immense desire to kick-start problem-solving.

“Let’s leave it here and brainstorm who we can call,” I said. He quickly rejected the notion. We couldn’t leave the car in the middle of the street! I thought it silly, it was a pretty deserted street of the main access. But he was adamant. The nearest gas station was a 21-minute walk.

“We have to push the car.” He looked at me dead in the eyes. It wasn’t an ask. It was a tell. I sighed, but I rejoiced. I had never pushed a car before, and I have been on a fitness journey, perhaps it was a wonderful time to see if my strength was actually improving.

“Alright,” I replied, and we both got out of the car. We started pushing, to bring it to the roundabout. It was less than a tenth of a mile, but there was a slope and after a couple of successful strides, I could feel it in my arms. Without having to tell my husband, he changed strategies.

“I will push from the back, you keep it on track”. No more instructions were needed. Switched to the driver’s side, we pushed, and boom we were done.

“I’m texting our coworkers,” I said. The office was 4 minutes away. I had back — up plans, but we have a great relationship with our peers, and I was sure one of them wouldn’t mind. I was right. Without much explanation a coworker asked our location, I sent him a pin, and he replied with “cool, that’s close to my dentist, haha”. In less than 20 minutes we were back at the office, with half a tank in the car — like nothing happened.

Some people might view this as a day ruiner, but this is what I got out of the experience:

1 — Micro-stressful situations are great to endure by yourself and/or with your loved ones, it will teach you volumes about how you deal with stress and tackle unforeseen circumstances. I am always amazed how my husband and I switch gears into this incredible team with an amazing unspoken dynamic. It reminds me of how amazingly successful our relationship is.

2 — Testing your network is crucial to understanding how well you fit in a new town and if you’re surrounded by the right people, and how dependable they really are. (Don’t abuse!)

3 — Life can be unpredictable, and it’s really all about how you react to things that make them good or bad (with some exceptions, of course). If you can find the positive, the beautiful, the opportunity — you will surpass those around you who don’t with wit, wisdom, and inner peace.

So this whole situation uplifted my day because it showed me how good I really have. How blessed I am by those around me who show up when I need them. In my case, during my short wait, I was mesmerized by the building in front of me and got this cool picture of it:

Image by author

True life is stranger than fiction, but I am grateful that it keeps me on my toes. And yes, we will be more mindful and strategic of our gas in the future.

I am an Aspiring Architect. My goals are to help design the sustainable cities of tomorrow, build in outer space & help people be successful. If you’d like to never, ever miss my posts, consider following and subscribing! If that seems to be a huge commitment, perhaps consider joining Medium (if you use my link I get $2.50 out of it) if you haven’t already. Doing so will give you access to other informative articles within this incredibly diverse platform.



Andrea Arias

Architecturally trained. Artfully minded. Permanently in my experimental phase. Follow me to look at the built environment through unique perspectives.