Driving Through Life

I found myself driving on a single lane, easy road at 40 mph. Satisfied at my rate, well-buckled, comfortable with the stereo music. I had a smile on my face saying “This is what I call life.”

Then I came to a busy street with horns honking everywhere, intersections blocked by cars trying to beat the red light, and each vehicle trying to make a way for itself.

Naturally, my moment of ease was disturbed. For a moment, I was preoccupied with the traffic. I forgot the comfort I was feeling a few minutes ago, and I busied myself with what was actually there, with what was in front of me. At a red light, I compared my car to all those that are in the same lane, leaving brief comments on each I envied as well as on others I felt I was better off. When it turned green, I never gave any other car a chance to get into my way.

Traffic is always a headache. After a few times of cursing to the pedestrians who were still crossing the street at my green light, and after almost hitting the bumper of the car in front of me just to not let anybody else get ahead of me, I got weary and wanted to get out of the main road. So I turned right, went straight ahead, and made a couple of U-turns just to find an easy way to get out of it. Having no sense of direction, it took me a little more while to find a clearer road.

I found myself in the middle of the same road I was on before. Coupled with frustration, I fled. Time and again, I was able to unbelievably overtake a few trucks, and to avoid some potholes on the road that I used to never miss. I was filled with pride that I was able to exceed my limits in driving. It was another adventure for me.

Yet, after the fun, I slowly became bored. I found nothing challenging anymore. I became uneasy with my speed so I slowed down a bit. Lost in my thoughts, a question popped. Where was I heading? Consumed by panic and fear, I realized a truth — I was heading nowhere.

I looked outside my window to check how long I have travelled with no precise destination. I checked on my rearview mirror to see if there were any other vehicles running on the same road.

So I decided to pull over. A few cars, including a patrol, checked on me if I had a problem. At the back of my mind, I was asking, “Could you give me a road map?” But I didn’t want them to know I was lost. So I just pretended I was taking a break for a long trip ahead. Anyway, it was partly true.

It was already mid-afternoon. Still unsure as I was, I decided to get on with my ride. I drove at an acceptable speed. Seeing the fire trees that started to bloom that season, I began to relax. My worries passed and peace wrapped me. I enjoyed the solitude.

Throughout that long day, I realized, it’s not with the comfort, it’s not with the ability to get away with traffic, it’s not with the speed, nor is it with the ability to get ahead. A worthwhile ride is about being able to enjoy and appreciate every part of it, driving not too fast and not too slow, and still fully understanding where you’re going.

And now at the end of the day, the same question popped “Where was I heading?” This time I smiled. I was heading back home.



Dean Castro

About Dean Castro

A depressed call center agent by day, happy writer by night. Who knew?

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  • Greg

    nice!