Stay In Your Lane!

I got my driver’s license early one Thursday morning 3 months after my 16th birthday. Less than 36 hours later I had already had my first accident. I’m not a bad driver, okay? Just let me explain…

It was a gorgeous Saturday afternoon; I’d just left a performing arts event at my high school and was going to the Mall next door to get some ice cream from Baskin Robbins for me and my girlfriend at the time. Life was at its apex for this 16 year old and I was feeling great since I had a license now. I’d bought a brand new outfit and some sneakers for my first official driving weekend – the shorts were white to go with a blue and white striped polo, with Nike socks and shoes – my sunglasses were on and my US Naval Academy baseball cap was tilted just so. I was clean to say the least and so was the car, a blue Ford Escort with gold stripes and a louver on the back window that was handed down to me by my older sister when she got married and moved away. I’d gotten up that morning and washed it up real nice, made sure all my favorite cassettes were in the glove compartment and off I went. Car gleaming and bass from the speakers knocking I rolled into the mall parking lot, everybody needed to see me including this cutie that was getting out of a car and walking towards the mall entrance. She had on white shorts with a matching yellow and white halter top thing to go with some white sneakers; she was with an older girl, maybe a sister or cousin. All thoughts of the girlfriend that I was running the errand for were washed away as I watched the movements of her muscular brown legs extending from her shorter than should’ve been shorts. One of my soccer teammates was in the passenger seat and we both marveled at her, we mused that she may have run track at whatever high school she attended, she was too lean and fit not to. My girl at the time was kind of a round girl, adept at the piano and singing, but certainly not the looker that this teenage wonder was.

We pulled up along side her and the other girl and waved, I even did the “peek from under the sunglasses move” by moving them upwards with my thumb and index finger to increase the cool factor. I called out “Hey cutie” from my seat to which she smiled and then she focused her attention at something ahead of me, but I didn’t care. I had slowly passed her now and could see that she had a flat stomach and what might have been some solid B cups at her disposal; she was in my blind spot now so I had to physically turn around over my right shoulder to see her and that’s when my boy in the passenger seat yelled out “Look Out!” A Buick Regal was backing out of a parking space in the lot but how was I supposed to know that with all that teenage beauty walking around in the spring time sun? When I whirled around it was already too late as the right corner of my front bumper made a solid whack with the rear bumper on the Regal leaving a pretty good knot on the shiny fender that I’d just buffed to perfection that morning. Worse still, the cutie in the yellow and white halter and the white shorts with the lean muscular brown legs audibly laughed at me as she passed by, I could hear her as I rested my head on the steering wheel, the bass still knocking a jam from MC Shy D unaware of the chaos in the mall parking lot.

Now, is there a moral in this story? Abso-freakin’-lutely. And that moral is to stay in your lane! You’ve heard that before, right? Typically it’s a euphemism for being happy where you are, being content with your station, finding joy in your right now. As things went on that Saturday afternoon, things were decent, new outfit, new sneakers, going to get ice cream for the girl who had given me the first real kiss that I’d ever had. Then the B cups in the yellow halter top happened and my teenage hormones took the wheel veering me too far in a direction that I shouldn’t have gone. Now I’ve lost focus, forget the ice cream, forget my girlfriend with the magical kisses, and forget the fact that I’m driving a car (duh!), I need to focus all my attention on that then – BAM! – back end of a Buick Regal. Because of that experience far long ago I’ve tried to make staying in my lane a practice long before it was a cool suggestion from one person to another; not only behind the wheel but in life. I’ve tried to be happy and enjoy the place that I am at the current moment and recognize the correct moment to move from one station to another. Have I always done it correctly? Nah. I’ve moved too quickly in some cases, changed things before the time was right, attempted to force some things that weren’t always advantageous for the time that I tried them; my reward for that were some figurative rear bumpers of Buick Regals. But just like I did on that afternoon, you recognize the error, knock yourself upside the head and recognize that things are pretty good where you are for now.

Just like behind the wheel, changing lanes is most effective when the coast is clear; for right now, enjoy the scenery where you are if it’s not your time to move; just know you reserve the right to move along when things open up for you to do so.

~thanks for reading 🙂

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