Greetings and Salutations, blog readers.
This blog was originally started when I was in Colorado, and I just now finished it. Enjoy.
As I watch the road seemingly move beneath us, a consequence of staring out the window on a long road trip for too long, when I think back to riding in cars with my friends while their parents or my mom drove. I remember so many conversations in which we would discuss how on earth someone knew how to keep the car in the lane.
From our perspective, our parents were to the right or left of the line in the middle of the road, and it never looked like they were precisely in the middle, between the two lines, like they always were.
Lacey would say, when we talked about how to drive, “If you are to the right of the line you are good,” whereas Nikki would insist upon it being to the left.
It really all depended on where we were sitting, and even then, it didn’t matter much- we were kids, who had no concept of how to drive, or, as it turned out, what visual perception was.
We didn’t know how to drive, so it didn’t matter what we thought. We were also looking at the road from the passenger perspective and not the drivers.
Later, when we all learned to drive, I don’t know if any of us ever even thought about the “right or left of the middle line” perspective, and all our chats about the correct way to drive, other than myself. It was silly, and always had been, for us to think about the orientation of our car by to the right or left of the middle line, but we didn’t realize it only looked this way, and that the car was always in between the two lines it should be in.
I thought about it more than once, actually, during drivers ed, and even for years after I was driving on my own, on long trips or whenever it popped into my head for whatever reason, normally from staring at the road too much.
The perspective had changed, or, rather, I could see it properly, now I was educated. Now, sitting in the seat, I knew I didn’t need to be left or right of the middle lines I could easily balance in the middle of the middle line and the other line marking the edge of my lane.
I never even needed to sit on one side of the line or the other to position my car, correctly, between the lines of the road, sticking to my lane, and doing what I was supposed to do to be a responsible and good driver.
Simply put: It was never that complicated. There was no trick. I just had to learn how to drive and then drive.
I suppose, if one were to look at this life story and apply it to life, you could find a poignant lesson or two about it.
Like, for example, that sometimes we don’t really know which way is right or wrong, and sometimes, even following what we see our parents do may be faulty because we are still only seeing it through our own perspective.
It’s okay to think and believe differently from them too.
We have to not be passengers, and be drivers.
“Okay, good lesson, Abbi.” You may be thinking.
Sure, but let’s dig deeper. How about, for example, taking action.
I could easily be mundane here and say something boring and unoriginal about voting right or left and the REAL key thing being to simply drive, but that is SO boring.
And I am not boring.
No, instead, I will look at the action.
Your perspective may warp as to what you think that action even is. You think driving means positioning yourself to the right or left of a line to be successful, when in actuality, you just need to drive, and be in your lane, between the two lines.
When you drive, you must drive in the smartest, wisest way possible, which is generally between the two lines, maintaining your position as to not recklessly hit other drivers with your own careless actions.
When you drive, you can see the actual perspective, and see when you need to veer out of your lane, to avoid something in the way. You are a driver, so you also know when you can’t avoid the problem without causing more, and you have to deal with it. You have to know how to drive, how to navigate. Do you try and use the shoulder? Come to a stop? Hit whatever is in your way and try to mitigate your own losses?
Kind of like how when a situation is unbearable, like say, police brutality, then you have to say something, do something. Even if maybe you haven’t been the best driver in the world, maybe you drink and drive, maybe you let hateful comments slide, maybe you text and drive, maybe you call the cops on innocent black people, maybe you haven’t been the best driver in the world. It isn’t okay, but you can change your ways NOW.
Because you are the one driving the car.
You can’t think about if sitting on the right or left of the lane is the correct way to drive, you have to drive, and you have to be between the lanes, and you have to watch for bad weather, oncoming traffic, people saying the N word, bad drivers, pay and housing inequalities, drivers who are operating mobile phones, racial profiling, drunk drivers, redlining, and of course, idiots.
You can’t sit in the back and talk about the proper way to drive, more so with your limited perspective, you have to educate yourself for a better perspective and you have to drive.
If that means signing petitions, then drive. If that means calling elected officials, going to city council meetings, and demanding more of our elected officials, then DRIVE.
If that means education because maybe you are a bad driver, then “drive” or in this case, read, because reading is fundamental, and educate yourself.
If “driving” means voting in every election, NOT just the big trendy ones, more so because true change including police budgets is done at a local level in elections that are often overlooked and under voted in, therefore one vote makes a HUGE difference- THEN DRIVE. Where possible, drive others to the polling place too, and ensure they get to vote. This is when metaphorical driving and real driving overlap…take a moment to appreciate it and then get back to work.
Whatever it means, to drive and be a good driver, in this fight against police brutality, against the various evils of the world including the racism that fuels the police brutality, DRIVE.
Also stay in your lane, do the work you are asked to do, including using your lane for other cars- amplify voices that are often stifled.
Don’t be a shitty driver. Be a good driver. Use your blinkers to tell other drivers you are a good driver (please, someone, use their indicators when they drive!) and use your voice and platform to tell others, to educate people and CHANGE the problem.
Thanks for Reading,