Fran Braga Meininger
Driving Myself Through Life
I need a new coffee cup. This one has so many chips the handle is about to snap off in my hand and drench my lap with my favorite beverage. There is not much more I need though on this early morning, the first day of 2017. I am quite satisfied; content really, surprisingly so, considering the state in which I found myself enmeshed only a few months ago, when everything was wrong, in turmoil, lacking in substance and promise. But it was a state of mind, not of being. It took some time and considerable effort on my part, and that of a gifted therapist along with my loving friends, to help bring me around to that revelation, but come around, I have.
Now, I sit in the morning light assessing my coffee cup, not my future. What a relief to be able to just let go of all the big things for a while and look at life as a series of simple and very practical happenings and decisions about where to go next. To my great surprise and grand pleasure, I’ve found that linked together they form the chain of a life worth living.
Every once in a while, a big bump appears in the road and I have to stop to take a clear view and decided whether it’s worth the risk to ride over it or if it would be wise to turn around temporarily and find another route. But all in all, it’s been a pretty smooth and clear path.
It’s interesting to note, I am driving. I’ve headed out quite confidently and without a navigator, no one is riding shotgun these days. There’s no need. Since I have no road map and no defined destination, there’s just me on a road headed forward.
I’ve taken in the sights along the way, learned a few lessons and had numerous “Ah ha” moments as I’ve discovered things about myself, my surroundings and those I pass on the roadside.
I haven’t picked up any hitch hikers, although a few have extended a thumb in my direction and given me a charming smile. Nor did I load up anyone from the driveway before I pulled away. I’m out here alone now. And I might quite possibly be out here like this for some time to come. It’s rather fun.
I’ve found I like my own company. I’ve discovered traveling alone, I’ve gained a sense of competence and self-reliance that has bolsters my confidence. All things I would not have understood had I stayed where I was, loaded myself into the passenger seat of someone else’s car or walked away when things were unbearable where I was. But I didn’t do any of that back there. Instead, I threw my bag in the back seat, revved the engine and peeled out; radio blaring, windows down, face forward, my foot to the floor, on my way through own my life.