One Way Streets

The other night I watched a car drive down the street in the completely wrong direction. When the light changed from red to green I put my foot on the gas and began cruising as you typically do when coherently operating a motor vehicle. The car beside me, on the other hand, proceeded to make a left hand turn onto a clearly marked one-way street. It was late enough in the evening that we happened to be the only two cars on the road, but I instantly found myself flailing my arms wildly and yelling, “YOOOOO DUDE! Wrong way! No, no, no, no!” Why I chose not to honk the horn in this instance is beyond me. Needless to say, my smoke signals were ineffective. The dude in the car (who was now at least 100 feet away from me) did not hear my warning cries and continued to drive down the street in the wrong direction.

I, on the other hand, had become a sitting duck in the middle of the intersection staring at two vaguely noticeable tail lights on a road where one should only ever see bright headlights. Did that just happen? Is he still cruising down the street in the wrong direction? How far will he get before noticing that the arrow indicating the correct direction of travel is not pointing in the same direction as his car?

I’m sure you’re wondering why the hell I’m sharing this wonderfully exciting anecdote with you. Alright people, here’s the truth…I’ve officially run out of interesting things to talk about, so I’ve succumbed to writing play-by-plays of the wild traffic infractions I witness around the city every day (anyone who has ever been a passenger in my car will chuckle at the thought of me providing insight on driving infractions on account of my own incredibly poor driving skills).

There is a point to this story, I promise.

At first, I didn’t know why this act of bad driving stuck in my head. I thought about it all night. I kept thinking, “The dude was driving the wrong way!” Why did this resonate with me so much? Then it hit me – for a moment, or maybe even longer, the driver had no idea that he was doing anything wrong. He wasn’t speeding, he wasn’t driving on the sidewalk, and he sure as hell wasn’t taking out innocent pedestrians for kicks – in his world, he was simply driving down the street. There was a period of time where he was traveling along his own path, blissfully unaware of the laws being broken as well as the individuals in other cars wildly flailing their arms at him in an attempt to advise of the directional mistake he was making.

That is the space where I want to exist. A space where I am blissfully unaware of whether the direction I am traveling is viewed as right or wrong. A space where I stop reading the road signs and just move forward. A space where I am confident enough to say, “Ya that’s right everyone, I may not be going in the direction you believe is correct and I might have missed the sign telling me not to turn there, but this is the path I have chosen and, damn it, I am going to travel down it!” (Of course, I am speaking figuratively and do not wish to drive in the wrong direction down all of the one-way streets in the city…citizens of Hamilton, you are safe).

I’m not sure when or why it happened, but lately I’ve been spending a lot of my time and energy trying to figure it all out. Spending time in my own head. Trying to understand the path that I am on and where it is leading me. Trying to predict whether each turn I make is taking me closer to a place of happiness or whether I am only making left turns and as a result am stuck driving around in circles.

Regardless of the reason, I’ve been leading strictly with my head without even taking a moment to listen to my heart. I’ve been trying to understand the road my journey will follow before taking the first step. So much of my energy has been spent trying to see my future in all of its wonderful glory that I’ve been missing the present moment. What’s the point of making it to your wonderfully glorious future if you missed enjoying all of the steps along the way?

The only thing I know for certain is that no matter what road you choose to travel down, there will undoubtedly be a roadblock on it. Whether it is a sign that reads “do not turn here” or someone telling you they think you might be going the wrong way. The question is, have you chosen the path that includes the people you love, the things in life for which you are passionate and experience that make you feel alive right down to the tips of your fingernails? That is what makes all the difference. Roadblocks become surmountable when you have people you love by your side and passion in your heart.

I do not want to look back on my life and wonder, why the hell didn’t I just turn down that road? If the only reason is because a sign told me not to…well, that’s just not good enough.

Your head will always tell you not to drive down a one-way street in the wrong direction, your heart on the other hand will tell you to get rid of the map, screw the road signs and follow the path that love and passion lead you down.

That is the path I choose.

According to Nics…

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