I do not envy words that hit my ears. They are in for the ride of their life! I’m not talking about some quiet Sunday afternoon drive through the New England countryside, marveling at the crisp beauty in the color-changing autumn leaves.
I am talking about a scream fest roller coaster that drops your stomach to the depths of who knows where at the same time raising your breakfast to your throat.
The words buckle up for an unmapped excursion that no friendly English or Australian GPS voice can navigate. There is some tangled, interconnected web of pathways that the words I hear travel.
Stay with me here as if you’re sitting in traffic with nothing better to do than curse the driver in front of you in between belting out your favorite songs on the radio.
I hear words. They hit my ears just fine, at least for now, and I am well aware that this is not guaranteed moving forward.
I hear words, and then my brain goes into overdrive. These words are processed. They translate into thoughts, and those thoughts invite logic, expectations, responses.
There are times thoughts take that leisurely Sunday drive through the countryside. I will speak about that scenic ride another day.
Today we are talking about the thoughts rumbling like a dozen Harleys through a quaint gated 55+ community in central Florida.
These thoughts skirt around the highway and veer off to a multi-level maze of interconnected byways.
Some stay this course continually zipping about the interchange with entries and exits in all directions until they maneuver safely onto a cozy cul-de-sac and park. Others take a detour and swerve into a hairpin turn to the heart. These thoughts then run the red light and collide at full speed in the middle of the intersection with emotions.
Emotions that arise from your core as you are funneling into a one-lane construction zone, tires vibrating on the scarified pavement, and here comes that one driver. You know the one. The one that surely coveted the line leader “job” in kindergarten.
Emotion that releases at the end of that construction zone when you are free. Free to turn it up a notch or three. Free to get going where you need to go at the speed you want with no orange cones and flashing lights holding you back. Free to catch up to the line leader.
Emotions can cause a traffic jam like a jackknifed semi on the I-90 in the middle of January.
Emotions can drive thoughts like Jed, Granny, and kin clamoring around Beverly Hills in their hillbilly truck. The stares from onlookers are hoping this crazy band of misfits is only passing through.
The exit is just around the corner.
I attempt to steer and maintain control as the sparks fly from the bare rim grinding against the hot pavement. The earsplitting noise and stench of burning rubber triggers startled glares from every direction.
I pull into the service station, the ding of the bell announcing my arrival as if they didn’t already know I was there. The smell of gas fumes and citrus hand cleaner invade my nostrils. The clanging of a heavy torque wrench dropping to the cement floor and the blast of the air hose assails my ears. I can’t, however, travel another 1/10 mile without this service.
The service station bustles all day with tires screeching, horns blowing, and the continuous cha-ching of the cash register. I am confident in its reputation and its quality of work.
Before long, I will guide my emotions back to the highway like a full-size truck with oversized mirrors and dual tires towing a shiny new fifth wheeler.
I know without a doubt a bold adventure awaits me in the miles ahead.