You know what road signs annoy me? The ones that say you have to slow down from your current speed limit for a turn ahead. Like most drivers, I pretty much never do. I don’t like using my breaks. I don’t like slowing down when I’m at a speed I like. More often then not, though, I find myself taking the foot off the gas instead of driving my car off the side of the road.
I don’t like when I have to slow down in life, either. I only like speeding up. But every once in a while, I see the signs of a turn in the road. And just like driving my car, if I don’t slow down, I could end up with some bad consequences.
Life is full of turns and transitions. Some of them are minor. Some of them are easy. Some of them are exciting. And some, maybe most, are hard. Even the exciting ones. It’s hard to slow down when you’ve been cruising at a speed you like. It’s hard to slow down when the rest of the traffic is speeding up. But we have to. We are forced to. And that’s what’s hard.
It’s hard being forced to do something when our natural inclination is to always do what we want to do and get what we want. It makes us feel like we’ve lost the control of our lives.
I’m in a transition right now into a new city and a new job. It’s exciting, but it’s scary. It’s lonely. It’s just different from the speed I was cruising in a few months ago. It’s hard slowing down. It’s hard not knowing where Target is without using my GPS. It’s hard not having the community of friends I was just hanging out with every week. I’m learning a new job in a new environment where the people there already know everything. Even if they make me feel welcomed, I am still an outsider right now.
It’s hard to slow down for the turns, but you have to. The good news of it all, though, is that whenever you feel your life turning, it means you’re actually getting somewhere. When you’re making a turn, you can’t really spend time looking in your rear view mirror. Turns don’t let you look back because you have to follow where the road is going. When it levels out, you’ll be able to look back, but while you’re transitioning, you have to keep your eyes on what’s coming next. Whether or not you can see around the bend, and whether or not you know exactly where the road is going, you are moving forward. And that’s worth staying on the road for.
Transitions pull us in new directions and into new destinations. Life is full of them. It’s honestly kind of pointless to fight them too much. As I said, it’s hard when you don’t see the rest of the drivers on the road slowing down or making the same turns as you, but that’s just because we’re not all heading towards the same destination. If we were, that’d probably be a heck of a traffic mess.
If you’re uncomfortable, lonely, or nervous, you might just be slowing down for the turn. But keep on turning. Keep going. Heck, you can’t really go back. Might as well see where this road is leading.