Driving

Simplicity Security Self

It has taken me 28 years to learn how to drive in the city. I’ve yelled, I’ve put up my finger, I’ve ranted and raved. For what? Nothing has come from it. I’ve let morning traffic dictate my afternoon. I’ve called the person going just under the speed limit terrible things. Funny, yes, but terrible. In the past few months though I’ve had a few experiences that have shaped me. And then magically, yesterday evening, it hit me in peak hour traffic. It washed over me with placidity, and I was free.

Over the last few weeks I’ve had some country driving. I love driving; really love it. I like finding the limit of grip. Feeling the difference through my body as the weight and pressure shifts from right to left, front to back. I like going as fast as possible. Obscenely fast. It is fun.

There is perspective that one can only get when going too fast. In that moment everything else melts away as the trees blur into nothing. Your eyes widen. Your hair stands. Everything you do suddenly matters. Every action has a rippling effect. Breathing slows.

But when it comes to driving, the city is no place to find these pleasures.

Although most don’t find real driving as exciting as me, I know that most do seek to satisfy the unquenchable thirst of an open road. We all fight for it in our cars. We all scream, shout, and rush.

Yesterday I found the truth of it all; my shouting, rushing and screaming is pointless. My car journeys in the city suddenly shifted from rush to cruise. Traffic became simply more time in a leather seat as comfortable as a beloved sofa. It became more time listening to music. More time in conversation.

The search for the perfect corner. That buzz from an open roundabout. The winding ups and downs. That is all now saved for the open road, a few hours out of a city.

I've relaxed in traffic.

City Driving

  1. You can’t control traffic, roadworks, delays, or any other person’s actions. That’s how it is outside of the car, that’s how it is inside the car. Deal with it with a smile on your face, because no one else cares.

  2. The journey becomes rushed if you decided to feel rushed. Calm down. Breath clearly. Look around in gridlock. Feel you place in the world. Smile from within, while others tear their hair out needlessly.

  3. If you are running late, you are running late. The way you drive in the city isn’t going to save you time. Maybe in the open road you can make up time. But in the city it is negligible. Stress not. Plan better. Allow plenty of time and your journey then becomes a place of rest.

  4. Real driving isn’t for the city. Don’t confuse the two. You can’t really drive in the city, because there is significant risk. Just accept that driving quickly and freely is for another place, another setting. For years I failed this. I felt angry needlessly. Now I understand that city driving is about moving somewhere like a being twig in a river. Real driving – on a track or open road – is like a being speedboat on an open lake. Don’t confuse the two.

  5. Never forget that there is no such thing as a destination, because the destination is death. Everything is the journey. Every part of our life. Be in the car ride, without anger or rush, because to fail this is to just feel angered or rushed in our life. We should never aim to feel this way.

  6. Finally; don't look at your phone. It is dangerous, and there is no need. You're not anywhere near the moment if you are checking for notifications. Let it go for a while.