A little while back, a friend said to me, “you’re fine, calm and collected until you get behind the steering wheels!”. I took a moment to reflect on his assertion and I couldn’t agree more. It occurred to me, living and driving in a city that is constantly buzzing like Lagos has a direct impact on my tolerance level whenever I am driving in this city. There is always a destination in mind for every time I set out but I also always fail to factor in the unpredictable tendencies of other road users in the city. Although it is common knowledge that the traffic situation on any given day in any part of the metropolis can be a gridlock lock-down experience and I should have come to that point of acceptance but no, I still get panic attacks just thinking about it and enthusiastically celebrate whenever I miss getting caught in any of these gridlocks as I journey.
I have a few friends that can attest to the fact that I love to step on the gas real good. I savour the speed thrills like no man’s business and I must admit, I stew whenever another road user deliberately cuts me off. Sometimes I let their meaness slide and other times I am hell-bent on making a point which feels good at that time but leaves me feeling stupid with myself later on. To justify my momentary stupidity, I tell myself; “being the bigger person is overrated, sometimes you just need to make a point!”. However, deep down the truth rings loud.
In the context of #YOLO – you only live once, I consider this one life a journey too. I know that common saying that life is a journey but I think it’s more of an individual thing than general. I view life like a city with an extensive network of roads, when I get into my car and get on this interconnecting network, it is guaranteed, I will come across other users of this same network. Some of these users may be kind to me as we share the road network, some not too kind, some oblivious & some indifferent. The real thing is their disposition on the road network mostly does not change my destination except there is a fatal accident of course. Even then, I don’t remain at the spot forever, yes I may be delayed or even evacuated to a different destination, it is still my journey and I am still on a journey that can not be concluded by any other person but me!
No matter how many people we come across or share life’s road network with at any given time, the journey remains personal. There may be distractions, nasty speed bumps & breakers or even have a flat tyre but I have come to realise it is a better experience when I choose to put mind over matter and stay in control because it is my journey. I love to explore new routes when driving to avoid traffic, learn a new route or just for the fun of it. Sometimes it leads to a dead-end. When this happens, I literally laugh out loud at myself and just make a U-turn. Other times it leads to a new discovery, a eureka moment!
As I mature in age, I am learning to apply this same attitude to my life’s journey so I can be in a calmer place with self at any given point, regardless the scenario playing out on whatever part of life’s road network I may be on. It is my life, it is my journey, no one can go through it for me so the earlier I graciously accept the realities of my route choices the better.
Peace & Love!