So, last week I had a nightmare of a journey. I had my first counselling session since I had my surgery (starting to prise open that can of worms that I’ve kept firmly closed) and then I had a physio appointment. I left the hospital feeling a little delicate emotionally and physically and found myself slap bang in the middle of rush hour traffic, in the centre of town.
Cars everywhere, lanes everywhere, lights everywhere. I knew where I was going, but I suddenly had no idea about how I was going to get there. As I crawled along in traffic, plotting my route, I noticed something up ahead. Roadworks, a diversion sign and a lot more traffic. I was going to have to go a different way. Everyone was trying to get somewhere, and we were all going about it in very different ways. I took a lot of abuse from an angry driver of a beat up white van who was stuck behind me, honking and gesturing. I was prevented from going anywhere due to an abundance of yellow box idiots who ignore the giant yellow boxes painted on the road, drive straight into them and sit there blocking all other traffic. I then became trapped behind an older gent in a lovely car who basically let everyone go ahead of him. Stress wouldn’t even begin to cover it.
I got to thinking that driving in traffic… is a lot like life. Everyones just trying to get somewhere. Be it a new job or a new home, a new baby or that next holiday. People strive for these things in different ways. Like our friend the angry van driver, intimidating and pushing people around to get where he needs to go. Or our friend in the yellow box, not giving a toot about what the consequences of their actions on other people. Or our friend who lets everyone go ahead of him, people pleasing his way along.
Some people are making the journey in a great car, like people in life who have privileges like their health or a good education. Some people are driving as best they can in a beat up old car, facing hardships along the way. Sometimes we have to change our route, when things come up in life like ill health, the loss of a job or a loved one. The journey takes a different path but the ultimate destination is the same.
My head was definitely not in the game for driving that day, and I’m glad I made it home in one piece. Maybe life would be a little nicer if we all asked ourselves ‘how am I driving?’. We don’t know where people have come from, or what they’ve faced along the way, and after all… we’re all just trying to get somewhere.