Stop. Calm down. Look at me.
Take the wheel.
I wonder if life’s the same? I wonder if in just one moment, I’ve discovered ten words that can describe the way we strive to live for each other. Life’s just a long road trip down to either Hell or Heaven. Whether you like it or not, the drive is going to have some technical difficulties: you being the car and fate being the terrain. Sometimes it’s going to be a little rocky; sometimes it’s going to be forgivingly smooth. Now, say that you’ve been driving a little bit slow to enjoy the smooth part of the road for a while, but you want to go a little faster. So, you start to speed up a little bit, and a little bit and a little bit more.
You start to lose control.
You hit the brakes, but in life there are no brakes attached. You cannot reverse or pause on the road that keeps moving, no matter how ready or unprepared you are. When you start losing speed and start getting back to a normal pace, the road inclines. The road becomes unrelentingly rocky. And just when you think you won’t make it, you reach the top of the hill to make a smooth recovery going back down. You must work to deserve that downhill. When does the road end? That’s where it gets complicated. You’ll run out of gas, take a wrong turn, run into a dead end, or lose control.
It’s just that simple.
Where is life taking you now? Nowhere? Or somewhere that you aren’t sure of yet? How fast are you going, miles per hour? A steady slow forty-three? Or a jarring ninety-five? I wonder if you’d get arrested if you went over the speed limit. But then again, I see no sign with a speed limit; I merely see a sign, suggesting a relatively safe speed, that’s been knocked down by a battered car. No matter how many times people give us hints and advice, you end up shoving the bits and pieces of words aside and you try to live our own ways. You want to be strong and independent. And so, if you are not strong and independent, you pretend that you are.
You are allowed to cry.
Say that there’s a Dear on the road in front of you: right in front of your car. You can’t swerve in time to avoid hitting the Dear. You hit the Dear. Since you cannot stop driving forwards, you strain your eyes to the rearview mirror and see the damage you’ve caused. You’ve just hit an innocent bystander. In the process, the car has been dented—scarred—with the imprint of an unnecessary death forever etched into your heart and your car. There will be more accidents and more scars added. But a time will come when you’ll become better at driving around the innocent and you’ll be able to prevent injury and learn from mistakes.
It may be a one-way road, but you are not alone.
Someone will always be driving in front or in back of you. Try rolling your window down and try reaching out to talk to someone in front or in back of you. It’s not in the least bit scary, and it’s very rewarding. The person up ahead, or behind you, is lonely too. Everyone suffers, though not at the same time, and it makes us need a companion to stay by our sides until that road stops stretching. You have to have friends, ones that you can rely on. Some will drive away from you eventually, but others will come and stay forever by your side.
You are human; therefore, you are weak.
Have you ever seen a car accident happen right in front of your eyes? When cars collide, the impact is astonishing. No one can even describe the smashing and crumbling of the invincible Volvo and the absolute demolition of the Dodge Caravan. No. Physically, a car crash is devastating and horrifying. Mentally, a car crash is fatal and life changing. Everything is weak and vulnerable in its own sense; humans just seem to be at the top of the rung. You see the cars speeding towards each other. You call out in shock, but you already know the outcome. The drivers’ faces turn from one of weary irritation at traffic to those of terrified panic. The cars smash into a formation much like that of two crumpled accordions. The image is heartbreaking. The drivers are in their own state of death; blood is splattered on the hard black cement of the road and the two people are sagging against their seatbelts that they’d put on in hopes of safety.
Life’s a story of death.
Introduce the black dresses and veils and see where that will lead any of you. You clothe yourself in your agony and despair while shielding your face with a gauzy netted material. Will that protect you? A friend perished on the spot of the accident and you’re going to attend the funeral. How good of a friend is—was—this person to you? Did this friend deserve your best black dress? Should you even bother with the veil? You drive down to the funeral and notice that, when you got there, the amount of people gathered there for one person is astounding. And they are all crushed in spirits. You sit in your car and tears run down your face as you think about this. If one person can cause this much pain to this vast amount of people, then imagine the state our world must be in.
The world is happily ignorant.
Such a place can only be filled with bittersweet pleasures that sedate our wailings for oh so long. So you strive to find something better to soothe your ache for something sweet: love. There is a large controversy as to what love truly can be defined as. Some say love is a cold two-faced emotion that is a person’s weakness. Some say that love is a beautiful gift to be shared with just the right person. Others define love as a fleeting thing to be caught and carpe diem-ed into one night stands. There’s no clear definition for it, but yet the world acknowledges its existence. Amazing, is it not? With love, even the long dreary car ride on the road of life can be bearable.
But most people often fail to see that in order to love, you must be willing to forgive.
You must be willing to say sorry. If you decide to cut someone off on a road or accidentally forget it was someone else’s time to drive at a turn, then you must be willing to say, “I’m sorry.” But you must also be willing to say, “I forgive you,” or “it’s all right.” Sometimes it’s not so easy to forgive or admit apology. That is the lesson of life the world must learn. Mistakes happen all over the world. Mistakes happen every passing second. Someone could have given birth to an illegitimate child right now as you finish this sentence. Someone could have taken a wrong turn on the way to work. A student might have copied down the wrong assignment for the next Biology class. Mistakes are rampant in this society, therefore you must have the ability to say, “I forgive you” as you yourself make mistakes every moment of your own life.
Breathe. Ease your foot off the brake.
Slowly push down on the accelerator.
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