Driving is a part of my life that has become, lets say, a little bit tedious. Coming to America made me realise that was is considered a ‘long journey’ back home is also known as a ‘commute’ over here.
If I were to drive 30 minutes in any direction from Manchester for anything, I’d be a good few towns and cities across. Whereas 30 minutes here is basically just me picking up my one colleague and heading to the field, within the same city.
I’ve spent days on freeways, just looking and driving in a straight line. Finally seeing the countdown on my GPS go to ‘In 0.1 miles, turn left’ – only to see it turnover to the next instruction, which is ‘turn right in 361 miles’.
So after 4 hours worth of driving one Sunday evening and missing my final exit on the freeway to get me home, I wasn’t best pleased. The feeling wasn’t made any better by my somewhat passive aggressive navigation system shouting at me for doing so either.
Nothing made me want to be in that car a second longer. The dashboard lights hurt me every time they flickered, the sight of the beige looking felt seats in the corner of my eyes was slowly becoming an all encompassing hate and the flicker of cars in my rear view mirror was enough to drive me insane.
But one short turn off and 10 minutes back in the other direction I was home. Nobody died, my dinner was still warm when I got back and I still managed to play with the host-kids a little before bed. It was just one of those things that happen.
This got me thinking though. Sometimes in life we take wrong turnings and go down a route we don’t particularly feel like we should be on. For a few of us, it’s just a feeling that the surroundings don’t feel quite right. Others, it’s a path we’ve taken out of choice and it’s turned out to be the wrong one. There are also the cases where you get ushered down a path through no fault of your own, and usually have no idea how you got there.
It could be starting a job that never sits right. Getting in to (or out of) a relationship that isn’t delivering on what you thought it would before you decided to do it. Starting a business that suddenly takes away everything you enjoyed about doing it in the first place. Or just you know, heading down the wrong freeway at 2am at night.
For all of us it can be frustrating. To feel lost, heading in the wrong direction knowing you’ve got to cover ground just to get back to where you started. Even worse, not even knowing which way is the right way back.
All these wrong turns, missed exits, shut doors and open windows are all part of our bigger journey. You’re on the right path, regardless of where you think you should be right now. Even if it doesn’t feel like it.
Your life is the freeway and all these little things that happen are the turn-offs, junctions and rest stops between where you started and where you’re going.
No matter which way you end up going, you always end up back on the path that is right for you. The beauty of taking a detour is that you might just catch some beautiful scenery on the way.
Did you enjoy that post? Feel free to like and share on Facebook and Twitter.
You can also follow James on Twitter – @JJPT_59