I am often asked why I choose to be so personal and self revelatory when speaking to total strangers about life. I liken my reasons to driving a car.
This life is the vehicle I have. I can polish it up, put fancy tires on it, hammer out the dents, and present it as a brand new Mercedes, but it will still be the same pick up truck that has hauled me over a million miles.
Every dent, every flaw, and every obvious sign of tinkering has a story. Some of those stories might help other people take better care of their vehicles or drive in a safer manner. So, I tell those stories.
I can also choose to be oblivious to those around me, racing from one red light to the next, demanding to be first in line only to end up in the slow moving cluster on the highway of life; or I can stick to my little dirt trails and side roads and get where I’m going my way.
Each of us was granted the opportunity to travel the road of life. Sometimes we have to pull off the highway and stand in the bluebonnets. Sometimes we have to drive hard and fast to get things done.
People may not choose to travel the same way, people may think your vehicle is old, rusty, ugly, or have parts that don’t work like they did when it was new. But all of those flaws represent an experience.
That is why I also listen to stories. I take personal interest in hearing where people have been. I’m fascinated by the postcards, the letters home, the roads less traveled, and the failures to drive properly that led to accidents or course corrections.
No two vehicles have been down the exact same road in the same way or under the same circumstances. Every journey is unique. And every flawed, ugly, rusty, care worn vehicle can be used for parts. There is always something to take away and add to your driving experience.
So, even when I am showing my flaws, I’m offering you a glimpse at my journey. I try to drive politely, share the road, and allow for even my own lane changes and course corrections.
*Cue guitar and piano heavy driving song by Meatloaf as I rev the engine and clunk into the sunset.