Calmly Cruising

May 3, 2018
By Anonymous

I believe in therapeutic road trips because sometimes, isolation from reality is the best way to get inside my own head.

Don’t get me wrong - I cherish the connections that I have formed with my friends and family. And pushing myself to become involved during my high school career molded me into the sanguine individual I am today. But while the neverending “go go go” mentality keeps me motivated, it simultaneously enfeebles me significantly. I need my solitary thinking time to ponder the deeper concepts of life and to keep myself in check. Personally, I have found it difficult to articulate this need in words to others who do not see the value in recharging individually.

I have discovered from several road trip experiences that my most profound and contemplative thoughts arise when I am behind a wheel going 70 miles per hour. The authentic silence elicits the thoughts that I suppress out of fear - the thoughts that pester me daily but that require my full attention to be adequately processed, the thoughts that I am unable to attend to since they interfere with my tedious routine, the thoughts that require me to dig straight into my shielded vulnerability. During the journies, the scenic routes and winding roads serve as temporary companions, murmuring topics to reflect on that seep through the glass windshield. Yes, it bothers me that most of the notions I mull over are out of my power, having no definitive answers until the future converges with the present. But, being behind the wheel of my Toyota Camry gives me a sense of solace and allows me to digest these thoughts away from the rest of the world.

During the summer of 2017, I took a road trip by myself to Auburn, Alabama. No barriers stood between my thoughts and the five and a half hour drive. After the drive, I felt stable and assured that I was steering my life in the right direction. I can guarantee that the time flies by in the car when I allow the floodgates of my mind to open. Unconsciously, there are so many thoughts that I pushed to the back of my head out of fear of my own emotional response, but inviting the thoughts back into the present allowed a wave of security and control to wash over me.

Fortunately, I have been granted the ability to discern the limit of human connection at a young age; at some point, the natural impulse to disconnect from the world and ruminate the heavy aspects of life alone overruled my need for reassurance from others. At the end of the day, it is just going to be me, myself, and I staring back at one another, so I knew I had to get used to the discomfort that comes with decisiveness. But, as I mentioned before, such sincere thinking demands unwavering focus and individual honesty that is best achieved, at least for me, behind the wheel.

The author's comments:

The inspiration for this article came from my desire to express that as a self-defined introvert, my most productive time alone occurs behind the wheel.

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