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  • Writer's pictureeschaden

Driving on the Wrong Side...

Ok, I will just say that I find it stupid that they drive over here on the wrong side of the road because of the historical fact that they used to joust in that manner.  I mean, I am all for history, but...

I managed to make it from Dublin airport to Dublin city center without killing myself or anyone else but this is going to be harder than I thought - most especially in cities.  Luckily, I have no plans to be in cities.

So far, I have only driven the wrong way down two one way streets, driven on the wrong side of road once and been honked at twice.  There is actually a lot to know and take into consideration other than just driving.  Altering my thought patterns after all these years of doing the whole driving thing one way, is actually a great deal harder than I thought.

But I am committed to the process.  

Not just the driving process, but the forcing myself to get outside my comfort zone and push myself to think, grow and change in directions that I would rather not.  One of the things coming up for me is that I have gotten very comfortable in my life.  I like to live in the way I have become accustom.  I am a creature of habit and tend to dislike anything that causes me to deviate from my routine.  Traveling is definitely one of those things that causes one to deviate.  And I find it hard to replicate the structure of my days while in another land, doing things other than what I usually do.

My heart is firmly planted back home.  I miss my guy.  I miss my kids and family.  I miss my animals, my home, the life I have there.  I am grateful for this time and all the things I will learn but I realize first and foremost, the life I have is greater, by far, than any escape fantasy I can conjure.  Being untethered in the world is wonderful but I am not sure how much I really need it in reality.  I will always love travel, but what is coming up for me today is that I love the life I have.  I think that, perhaps, just maybe I have built a life from which I do not wish to escape.  And just writing that made it land for me.  I have a life today that I do not wish to escape from...


Me, a life long escaper, actually is quite content to live where I live, in the home I live in, with the people I have in my life, I am very content with all that I have.  The job, the relationship, the kids, the station of my life.  It is comfortable and warm and loving and I am realizing the longer I am away that all I have ever wanted exists within a mile radius of where I live (some current logistics of certain people excepted).

Driving on the wrong side of the road is causing me to think.  Forcing me to stretch myself in ways that I have not had to do, possibly ever.   I mean, I have been driving on the other side of the road for almost 40 years (not quite, but almost).  And there is certain level of comfort and inability to alter myself that I am coming up against.  The driving yesterday was stressful and I felt like a newcomer.  I felt like a novice which gave me a greater appreciation for my daughter as she learns to drive and develops a proficiency.  I am reminded that learning to drive, with all that entails, is hard and humbling.

And perhaps that is what I needed most, a humbling.  A stretch and growth in a new direction that causes me to shake up all I think I know, all of my prior experience and cause me to do it differently.  I know this for sure, when I am brought to some new horizon of myself, I have only two choices:  rise to the challenge or retreat.  And retreating is just not an option for me today.  I do not wish to retreat to the places I have been before.  Instead, I wish to move forward into what awaits me next.  Always striving to understand myself and others better.  To allow the truths that exist on the periphery to come into full view and land.

This trip is unplanned in the sense I have no itinerary.  I am just here, waking up in Ireland and haven’t a clue what comes next for me.  Except that today I will spend a great amount of time driving on the wrong side of the road, thus forcing myself to have to do something I have done for a very long time, very differently.  Which is psychically painful to some degree.

But I have been around long enough to know the ways I challenge myself to grow and change and alter and reveal, always bring me to some new experience of myself, and others, some new knowledge that has previously been unavailable to me.  And today, I know that I am ready to learn whatever driving on the other side of the road is there to teach me.

This morning as I wake with my coffee and words, I am immensely grateful for the life I live back home.  Sometimes, I guess, you have to travel thousands of miles to renew the appreciation you have for the life you live.  Sometimes the only way I can realize how very much I love the life I have, is to put myself in the way of being forced to live differently.  And today, that will very much be the way of driving on the side of the road that is foreign and fearful.

Great change only comes with minute changes one after another.  The sweeping change we all tend to seek comes only after we push ourselves to leave the comfort of all that is familiar, to experience ourselves in new situations, doing familiar things in a new way.

I never knew how much I would learn about myself from driving on the other side, but I am on day two and I know that I am changed from the simple fact that I took the risk.  That I pushed myself to get in the car on the other side, thereby making myself see myself from a new perspective.  Again.  Still.

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