Freeways Of Our Lives

Free Article by Adin Villanueva

My right hand was positioned on the “fifteenth” minute of the hour and my left elbow resting on the door of the car, my left pointer finger touching my chin. I was cruising Southbound on Highway 5, on my way from Vegas to San Francisco. The music I was listening to was an upbeat tune called “Right Place, Wrong Time” by Dr. John; it’s an old ’73 song from my playlist to keep me sane enough from boredom as I was just halfway through my trip and 4 hours to go. I glanced at the rearview mirror seeing a few cars behind me, distanced enough for me to feel comfortable that there would be enough room if I suddenly hit the brake if necessary.

Vrooom!! Like a sonic boom passed me and I swear I felt the steering wheel move as my car was significantly affected by the wind that the revving car caused. “What the …!” My heart was pounding and all I could do was calm my nerves and focus on visualizing the make of the vehicle as it got smaller to even see the color. What does one do in this situation? Step on the gas pedal and rage on the road and up the middle finger?

No, not I. But as that just happened, I suddenly associated a situation in my life when I was very much accomplished with my career and I was confident that I was going to get that “in the bag” promotion everyone expected I was to get, but out from nowhere, a new executive was hired to fill the post. As a metaphor, that light-speed car took my promotion.
Have you ever had the realization that our lives could very well be the same situation as cars on the streets, the roads, and the freeways? An Alfa Romeo cutting you could be a rich suitor stealing your chances to win your girlfriend since you are a mere “Camry”, or the car in front of you is risking your “deal” as it is going 40mph on a two-way street when you need to meet a client who’s been waiting for 20 minutes.

There could be so many scenarios one can actually envision, with all these cars on the road, and what we do with such varied situations, may put us in the same end result as these cars. When we carelessly disregard road signs as the way we treat company rules for granted, we can get a ticket to human resources sending you a warning for excessive absenteeism. Going too slow on the road will be close to a mediocre employee stuck in the same job for 15 years. Going too fast, way past the speed limit can put you to cause accidents that will create standstill traffic as one carelessly disregards protocols in the workplace that all inter-department efforts are wasted in view of one unprofessional mistake.
Two cars between you and the one in front of you likewise keep you from driving to your destination… that situation is very much like your hands tied to keep you from doing what you need to do to achieve that career goal. Sometimes as we signal to warn cars behind, they would still accelerate which would endanger you, the way people put you in situations that risk you or your job or your family.

Finally, even as you are comfortable with the cruise control gadgets in your car, your personal focus on handling your vehicle will “drive” you the way you intend your life to be: cautious and courteous, defensive and determined to reach your destinations or your goals as intended.

Patience plays a major role in road trips as I finally made it back home, albeit at a two-hour standstill along I-5 North. I can imagine various challenging situations each car would probably have had! In my case, I was looking at my gas gauge showing 3 lines fully and I still have 100 miles to span and I am hoping to hit at least one gas station. This could well be the same thing as going to a job interview without any fare money to take the trip.

The next time you drive your car, or even as you sit on the passenger seat, all buckled and safe, imagine your life like these cars as you see them from behind you, between you, or in front; you will realize that life is just like these cars, putting your situations in front of your eyes and the freeway is our life story.