So, this is an article, I wrote way back…lol. Thought you might enjoy it. Got a newer more refined account which I would share with y’all soon. Of course, I feel differently about driving these days. Enjoy.
I love driving; I’m happy to get behind the wheel and explore new terrains within my city or to simply ply the same old route to & from work or church. Attribute my declaration to my powerful V6 Automatic Transmission engine and my 6-CD loader player and super surround speaker or even my grey leather seats if you like, you may not be far from the truth. But, you see,I have felt this way for a while even when I struggled with my manual Toyota car with the 2.0 engine on the university campus.
In the first place, driving was a means of taking control of my life. I needed to face the road and conquer my fears, I was a timid driver at the beginning, as is the case with most of us, so it was a big deal and my take-out at the time was this: face your fears, eventually they become common place and you can move on to the next big thing. That was driving lesson one.
I do five major things in my car- think,get some alone time, hang out with friends(Lagos traffic makes sure of that!),listen to inspiring CDs and lastly,move from point A to B. By the end of each trip, I usually have a thing or two to take out.
Riding in Lagos traffic also gives you some much–needed ‘think time’. It’s getting harder and harder to find time to think of issues and determine your approach towards the challenges that life throws at you. Like I said before, a lot of my important life decisions were made in the car on the road-I make decisions or process issues, life changing and trivial alike behind the wheel. Listening to music and messages usually are, by default, uplifting and empowering.
Catching up with friends during a ride helps me re-evaluate my friendship with them and affords me the opportunity to learn a thing or two from them.
I love driving,I say again. Life’s lessons can be learnt this way. Just this morning, I was running late for church and my usual route was flooded. Anyone who knows me well, knows I hate water in any form, bathroom showers, swimming pools etc. Anyway, on this particular day, I was about to reverse and risk getting to church late and frazzled. I looked at my sister and she looked straight at me and said: ‘’You can do it’’! To cut the story short, I waited for a more courageous driver to lead the way and I followed. Needless to say, I made it through and made it on time into service. My take-out? You need to launch out into the deep when you have a goal or destination. Face challenges head on, it’s never easy, but it is eventually worth it.
Another interesting episode is the one with the LASTMA officials. For me, this encounter is symbolic of the on-going extortion saga with our law enforcement agencies, especially in the city of Lagos. It was a Sunday afternoon and it was a smooth, unhurried drive home. At the Country Club-Mobolaji Bank Anthony junction which, on this day, had no traffic lights working, a LASTMA official and a Traffic warden jumped right in front of me as I was about to negotiate the totally free bend. They asked me to wind down. My unwitting cousin quickly obeyed. The rest is history. This kind of experience may mean nothing to you but I am a die-hard law abiding driver and it was my first encounter with them and I had broken no rule.I was really shaken, by the level of corruption that had taken us over and the fact that with a token, many of us can wave aside the law whether on the streets of Lagos or in the comfort of our offices or on the corridors of power.I resolved, then, to leave a particular amount in my account ( in case I meet with them again) as my contribution to the anti-corruption revolution we all talk about.
On the road, also, you encounter all kinds of people: patient, intimidating, timid, arrogant, stupid-all kinds of them and it shows in their driving. Spending time behind the wheel is a good way to learn to deal with people. Tim Lahaye in his book, Why You Act The Way You Do, says your personality is also expressed in your driving. The extroverts are a little more adventurous with their driving while the quiet types are more cautious and reserved on the road.
It is key , at this point, to declare that I have been inspired long before I started driving. This inspiration comes more from being on the road than being in a comfortable car.I get as much inspiration from being on a bike or in a bus. I concluded on an ‘okada’, that I needed to break out from my long hiatus from writing. There were just too many issues needing expression. I discovered that the common Nigerian needed to stop being spectators on ‘Danfo’ bus rides and change his life, so it is really about being on the road and not just about the car.
The point behind this month’s ramble is this: seek to discover the unique way or means by which you find inspiration. Several find it by reading, some by praying, some by travelling and others by association.What is it that gets your creative juices flowing even at the end of a long day and gets you going when you’re just tired of living? Maybe you should do it more often,no matter how silly it is,it might just be your life saver!
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