So, recently, I had a writing epiphany while driving. I know, it seems with a title like “Road Trip”, all of my ideas for posts would come while I was behind the wheel. Actually, most of them occur while I am walking and I have time to let my mind wander. Usually, when I’m driving, I’m doing what I’m supposed to be doing while operating a motor vehicle: paying attention. Not that having a figurative light bulb go off is going to actually disrupt my driving ability. Truthfully, it was because I was paying such close attention to my actions on the road, I realized that in that moment in time, I was exactly where I was supposed to be. The green light that I made, the red light I didn't, the slow car that I’d been behind, the Starbucks pit stop – everything. Every step along the way put me at a certain place at a certain time.
Most days, we don’t think about all those little actions, in fact, usually there’s not a reason to dwell on them. That is, until one day when you hear that there was a bad accident at an intersection that you've already crossed because you are ahead of schedule. But knowing that on a normal day, given the time of the accident, you would have possibly been right in the middle of it, had you not made that extra green light or left a minute or two earlier than usual. So yes, all of us are where we are because of the steps we take.
Where we are in our metaphorical Road Trip is just as dependent upon the steps we take every day. This journey started because of a conversation. At a restaurant. On the water. There, that’s a green light, a yield sign and probably getting behind a slow poke, figuratively, of course, but for whatever reason, we chose to go to that restaurant, sit outside and enjoy the weather, and my Mom and one of my Aunts decided to have the conversation with me that changed the course of my life. Every step along the way has put me where I am right this moment.
Yes, there are the things that have slowed down my progress at times, but I don’t consider them stop signs or U-Turns. I look at them as learning opportunities, so that when I’m back up to full speed, I will be a better driver after gaining experience. The most important thing that I have to remember is that there is no time limit on this journey. I will be doing this for the remainder of my life and I know that I will have others along with me for the ride. Some of them will speed ahead of me and others may slow down, but since we are all traveling in a pack, so we can learn from what others experience along the way.
I know that it’s been a long road trip – almost 3 ½ years – but I’m not ready to get out of the car anytime soon. I hope you aren't either!