Gratitude, Joy, Oneness and Service (Day 970 – Day 975)
Friends know that on the 15th of December, the car I was driving exploded on the freeway and smoke obscured my view before and behind me as I was in rush hour traffic at 70 miles an hour. I managed to pull off without hitting anyone and narrowly escaped harm. That began an awful month and several other close calls with death or injury followed. It is not an exaggeration to say that I am grateful to see the middle of January.
I had not expected the major expense of making my first car purchase. I have not lived somewhere that required a car in over 25 years, knew nothing about them and there seemed nobody around to whom I could turn. The would-be paramour didn’t know anything, my sisters knew nothing and my father is too old to bother with these sorts of things. I had one friend in LA who had made a disastrous car purchase of his own and a Facebook friend/blog pal whom I had never met, and the two of them turned out to be the most helpful in providing resources and alleviating fear.
It is at times like these, that I feel ill-equipped for a rite of passage that many have taken decades before me but which I bypassed, in life, in order to take a road less traveled. It is then that I feel desperately alone.
I told the would-be paramour how alone I felt. He assured me that I was not alone. I had him, as support. As if Raven had landed on my shoulder to pull one of his mighty tricks, a week later, the would-be paramour – to do what he needed to do in his own life, to be happy right now – took the exit ramp from my life.
My journey is a solo journey, right now, Raven said. Well, so be it.
And so, I mapped out my process and set off to educate myself. Sales people regularly told me that they had never met a customer like me. I had no emotion about the sale – I had done my research on consumer reports, test drives, fuel economy, safety ratings, resale and future values, as well as on the best car colour for resale value. I appeared to have absolutely no emotion at all about the purchase of the car. I like red cars. I bought silver for resale. I test drove the model of car I eventually bought 9 times with 6 dealerships and got the best price that I could, in the city.
It was a business transaction for a piece of equipment that, for my commitment to sustainability, I desperately did not want to have to own.
There was no emotion. Or, so it would seem.
I had decided that the only car I would buy would be one with IIHS Top Safety Pick+ rating which is the highest safety rating a car can achieve. After the near-death experience on the highway, I sent a message to my soul that said one thing: “I love you enough to pay more for your safety. You are worth it.”
There was a great deal of emotion in my car purchase. It was just extremely private and of the highest order.
I am grateful that I have resilience and resourcefulness. And I am grateful to the friends who provided input and to a long time friend who asked the right question at the right time and helped me see that my greatest duty was to my own well-being because my work here on this planet is not yet finished.
I am grateful that this difficult chapter of my life is over. My service is to now turn my energy to focus on my purpose. I have realized how much of my energy had, in the last few weeks of our relationship, been pulled off course into helping my would-be paramour map out his own journey, rather than joyously staying the course of my own. Even if you seem to experience a deep Oneness of purpose and are navigating your lives in the same direction, you can’t get to your destination if all you can do is stare at the map, and you can’t reach the starting point. Eventually, someone has to get into the driver’s seat, turn over the engine and put the vehicle into gear. It’s up to the other person if they get in and go for the adventure. We all want to be happy and safe, and sometimes our journeys must diverge – for awhile, or forever. The adventure is still there to be had – together, or alone.
If there is any meaning in moments where we come close to death, it is to realize that one’s life is a glorious and time-bound gift and protecting it is too great a purpose to sit idling in ‘park’ as we pave paradise all around us.