Driving

One of my biggest revelations of self-discovery on this trip happened while driving. It comes to no surprise, to me at least, that I would find myself reflecting a lot about my life on my drive to class or my usual mini road trips exploring southern California. I literally spend almost as much time either in class or exploring various cities as I am sitting in my car stuck in traffic.

My drive to Santa Anita Canyon

My drive to Santa Anita Canyon

What I discovered was that my way of driving is exactly a reflection of challenges of myself. I don’t mean to say that I jump lanes without signaling, or skip stop signs, or even go 50 miles above the speed limit. I do admit – I’ve done some crazy things but who hasn’t? No one is ever a perfect driver. Even the drivers who abide by the speed limits on the highway can get themselves in danger if the majority of the drivers on the highway are going at least 15 to 20 miles greater.

There is ONE major thing I do wrong while driving:

I focus A LOT on the driver behind me.

Problem: This may sound so silly to you but when I’m stuck in traffic, and it’s stop-and-go, there are moments where traffic starts to lighten and speed picks up really fast – and within a matter of seconds, the car in front is at another halt out of no where. I obviously panic and press on my brake so hard. But while I’m braking, I’m staring at the car behind me hoping he doesn’t slam into me or that he isn’t pissed at me for whatever reason. While all this is happening, I’m about to hit the car in front of me because I don’t stop early enough because my eyes are facing the mirror to face the car behind me as opposed to the car in front of me.

Root cause: I discovered two reasons why I do this: a) I have a tendency to always look behind me – which is another way of saying how I tend to hold on to my past and past experiences. Sometimes I catch myself at random times just having a hard time of letting go certain aspects of relationships that went wrong (whether it be with parents, siblings, friends or boys) in the past when I know I have no way of going back to fix them; and b) I care too much about how I am/was being judged.

Solution: I learned in acting class last week that it takes less than 90 seconds for an emotion to be triggered, go through the blood stream and be flushed out. My point: who cares what the guy behind me thinks about me. If he’s pissed at me, it’ll be for no longer than that 90 seconds and we’ll forever never see each other. I could get myself in far worse danger in front of me anyways. Same goes to letting go my past experiences. It’s all about the present  moment and what’s in front of me because that’s what I can control and make a difference.

Ever since my self-discovery, I’ve taken every effort to just let go, breathe, and focus what’s in front of me. I can actually say I’m a better, more confident driver, and I’ve allowed myself to forgive the things that’s happened in my past. This has all transcended into feeling more free than I ever have before.

In fact, I made a great stride today to prove my point. I took a mini road trip to Laguna Beach, and because my GPS is outdated, it can’t navigate me to a location without a specific address. So I had to print out directions from Google Maps. From there, I successfully reached to Laguna Beach without any mistakes. I was so happy and proud of myself because it’s a huge change from the old me a month ago. And best of all, I was on this trip on my own and it didn’t phase me one bit. I had butterflies inside of me because I was so excited to see the most wonderful beach in Southern California.

Laguna Beach

I hope I’ve allowed you to have the opportunity to reflect on the things you do and how you do it, and discover the root causes for those doings. It’s not about judging yourself, but being open to being a better you.