OHandleHere’s something that might surprise you about me. As fiercely independent as (I like to believe) I am, I like for someone else to do the driving–particularly when we’re talking about my significant other. Don’t get me wrong; I’m neither afraid to drive nor do I dislike driving–and I’ve definitely done my fair share. It’s just a quirk I have.

For the last few months, I’ve let myself be chauffeured about quite a bit. And boy-oh-boy, did that take some getting used to. The first time we took an exit ramp at slightly above the speed limit with me in the passenger seat, I thought we were going to careen off the road. Luckily I glanced at the speedometer before I really let him have it–only to discover that he was going somewhat slower than my standard ramp speed. What the heck? Why did it feel so different?

Because everything’s different in the passenger seat, that’s why.

When someone else holds the wheel, terra firma often feels like skid city. Try as I might, I can’t stomp on the imaginary brake hard enough or throw enough body English on the car to change anything. When I’m not in control, I feel way less secure.

That was a big eye-opener for me, especially when I recognized the metaphor. Life surely feels different when you’re not in control.

And then I went a step further. I started thinking about people who have been in my passenger seat. How secure do I make them feel? Do they try to make compensatory adjustments for my feckless navigation? Have they just accepted it?

I’d like to think I’m a little more respectful of those alongside me since I’ve had this revelation, but time will tell. And lest I forget the lesson, I’m about to receive frequent reminders. My son starts driver’s training soon. Hold on and hang tight!

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