“I took a backseat and just allowed things to happen as they should, watched time pass by as it meant to. This intended pause just equated to rest at first but then it gave me something more- a sense of clarity to what I really want and what I need to let go”.- sundaewrites
I was in high school when my dad first taught me how to drive. After some time my brother and I would always compete and insist on taking the wheel to drive around town. Some years more, I needed to start driving in the city. Coming from a small town where I’d have to deal with slower traffic, fewer cars, smaller roads, driving in the city with more travelers on the road, was really a big deal for me. I implored dad to help me master at least one route- from home to work and back, to the extent that I’d feel more confident about it. Without hesitation, my dad agreed but on one condition. He’ll stay in the back seat while I drive. This made me feel really nervous but I agreed anyway, knowing it’s something that I have to deal with and overcome.
So off we drove through a number of turns, mentally mapping out the road so I’d know my way back. My dad agreed to just drop me off and trusted me much to reach home on my own at the end of the day, “unscathed”.
I was used to having my dad in the passenger seat, but with him seated at the back made me feel less secured and less confident. Once in a while I’d look in the rearview mirror and see his eyes focused on the road. For some reason, he’d instinctively know when I’d feel confused or quite unsure of how to make it through the busy streets. On those occasions, he would lean forward and with his head next to mine, would gently coach me. Oblivious to the noise and chaos outside, my dad’s voice remained calm, certain and trustworthy. Leaning into his words took away the panic and fear. I was sure I could drive on and make it through.
Some weeks later I asked dad, “Why did you choose to sit at the back and not beside me”? He said, “So I could see what you see. That way, I could guide you better”.
At first, it didn’t make sense. But thinking about it now, my dad was right. There’s a wider gap between the driver and the passenger seat, compared to, where my dad was seated leaning forward.
This experience taught me a great deal about assessing my own life. From time to time I’d mentally take a step back and see my actual self, heading towards somewhere and figuring out if the road indeed leads to my true north. Sometimes this requires a thorough review of what I’ve accumulated in my life at every point, and then stripping myself away of almost all of it, barring the essentials.
I know it’s a long road, but if I’m to truly enjoy the journey, I have to travel light, I have to be more present, and take every precious moment in as if it’s the very last time.
So this is it for me.
Fewer photos, more experience.
Fewer words, more meaning.
Fewer complaints, more thank you’s
Less hate, more love.
Fewer distractions, more quietness
Less of everything, more of my true thing.
How about you my dear friend? What trade-offs are you making? What have you said no to so you could say yes to something far more important and meaningful? Comment here. I’d love to hear from you.