Recently, my blogger friend A. was talking about how certain life events change your path or attitude, and it got me to thinking: which are the incidents that mattered in my life. Now I know that pretty much every decision you make alters your life in a certain way (we’ve all seen those alternate tale movies, or read the books) but which are the ones you can pinpoint? I’ve chosen five this week to discuss…
When I was about a year or so out of college I bought a car- black Toyota celica. Not exactly a sports car, but it had a lot more pep than my Cutlas Supreme. I loved driving this car: it was little and cute and perfect.
One weekend I was going to the Philadelphia area to my cousins wedding. I did not drive out to Philly with my parents because I was going to visit some friends in that area after the wedding.
I liked speed- I liked the feel of going fast in a car. But, I’m always relatively practical. So my rate of speed was clearly over the speed limit, but not so high that I would look like a blur going by…
Except that I maintained a too high speed going into a curve and I spun out a little. Actually it was a lot, but I got lucky that day that there were no other cars close to me. I got lucky that I wasn’t close to a divider or anything like that. I got lucky because there was absolutely no physical damage to me, my car or any other person.
Because emotionally I was freaked out.
After that incident that really wasn’t I completely soured on driving. I started to hate getting behind the wheel of a car. I’m perfectly fine being a passenger. It’s one of the few situations that I am fine being not in control, because I don’t trust my judgement as a driver.
I now live, and have lived, in areas that don’t require me to drive much. I do not own a car. I tend to let others drive. I use mass transit all the time. My daughter has applied to schools in Nashville and Houston that she has not visited yet. If she gets into either of these schools and wants to see them, I will not rent a car in either of these driving friendly cities: we will rely on uber share.
I lost any love for driving I ever had on that day. And it wasn’t even an accident. But the sheer thought of how I could have hurt myself or others due entirely to hubris has freaked me out.
I can drive and am a reasonably good driver. I will drive if I must, but I am incredibly careful when driving. I hate driving at night, or in the rain because I really don’t feel comfortable in less than favorable conditions. I don’t drive if I don’t need to.
One incident. An incident that sort of sealed my love for urban environments. Closed the door on cars for me.