Being in a contemplative mood tonight, I want to write a post regarding a few things from my recent experience, as I wrote about in my first post Goodbye’s.
I was going to be driving approximately 1321 km (820 mi) over the course of 3 days. No one thought my car would be able to make it over 2 days. I’m certainly glad I didn’t attempt to. I had a few problems and had to stop at each and every gas station, but nothing major. The car wasn’t the problem.
Instead of taking the usual highway, I was advised to take a back road instead. I have Google Maps, so we were sure it wouldn’t be a problem.
Oh, but it was.
That first day driving, I spent the majority of the trip crying like a starving baby, and wondering what the hell I was doing. So it certainly didn’t help matters much when my maps app decided to play games with me.
“Turn left.” Okay. “Take slight right”. No problem. “In 300m you will have reached your destination on your left.” Wait… what?! There’s nothing here! It’s a dead end! And in the middle of nowhere! A group of guys were sitting around a fire. Fear started to settle over me. They all stared as I attempted to turn my car around. Relief flooded through me as I drove away.
Damn you, Google Maps.
Unfortunately, our misadventure together didn’t end there.
A short while after that. “Turn left”. Okay. You better not mess me around this time. I took the turn, and a short while in, the ground turned into a thick muddy mess. Again, nothing around me, but the ‘road’ going on as far as I can see. My car struggling. The wheels spinning. Panic setting in. I phone my now ex and scream and swear at Google, tears blinding me. Yes, I know she’s not the app. But she’s used to me expressing my rage and panic in her presence over things that have nothing to do with her. Surprisingly, she’s calm and gentle with me and I find myself instantly starting to calm down. There. Now I can think a little clearer again. I have a choice to make. Continue on, and risk getting stuck and the road being like this for too far a distance, or turn around and go back. But that’s a risk too. I could get stuck doing that. Well, I’d rather get stuck closer to a main road than going on to God knows where.
Eventually though, I got to where I needed to be.
Thank you, Google Maps.
Some parts of the trip went by so quickly. An hour seemed like 5 minutes. Other parts seemed to be go on for an eternity (we all exaggerate).
Whereas the first day was filled with tears, on the second, I was an empty shell. I never know what’s worse. The flood, or the drought?
Settling into the guest house on that second evening, my usual clumsiness caused me to knock the coffee plunger/press off the counter onto the tiles. Glass shattering. Damn. What now? And what the hell was the universe trying to tell me with all that glass scattered across the floor anyway? It was tempting. Oh so tempting. But then the tears started. That’s great. Crying over a broken object. Only, I knew that wasn’t the real reason. I cleaned everything up and decided to rather go to bed. The next day would be the final leg of the trip and I wanted to leave early and just get it over with.
I arrived safe and sound at the place I will be calling ‘home’ for the next few months.
Life is much the same way. We’re on a constant road trip. It will take us down unfamiliar paths, some beautiful and exciting. Others terrifying and ugly. If it was beautiful all the way, would we still see the beauty? It’s the bad, the horrible, that allows us to continue admiring and appreciating all the good. We might make choices that lead us down dead ends or dangerous paths. But there are always ways to correct our course. We end up where we’re meant to be. The journey never ends. At least not until we take our final breath.
A few days ago, I wrote this:
The only purpose life serves is to test your limits and break your heart a thousand different ways.
I still get my moments where that feels true. But once I see clearly again, I realize that life is an adventure. Yes, it may test our limits sometimes, but it shows us how strong we really are. How much we can overcome. That we can overcome. And yes, it may break our heart, but it heals again. Today is the first day in weeks, or rather, months, that I haven’t hated life. That I actually want to live. And it feels so good. It know it might not last, but I’m going to take full advantage of this moment and not think of that.
Right now, I’m excited (even if somewhat terrified) to find out where life will take me next.
Enjoy the ride!