Flashback Whiplash

Exit Only It was a weird feeling this morning as I headed out in Mine at 7:30 a.m., cruised down Figueroa, jumped on the 134 heading west, and exited a few miles later onto Brand Boulevard. What felt weird about it were two things: 1) I haven’t driven in morning rush hour traffic in forever and had forgotten how many cars are out on the road (not to mention how catastrophically terrible Glendale drivers are), and 2) this was the exact same route at the exact same time I used to take when I worked at Nestlé, except instead of turning right onto Brand and driving one block to the office, I turned left to go to my dealership where Mine was getting a coolant flush.

It’s been just over five years since I handed in my letter of resignation and walked away from a 14-year career in Corporate America…and the drive this morning reminded me of that old way of life. I generally don’t dwell on the past so this flashback was a bit of a shock to my system which is used to me waking up every morning and being incredibly grateful for the present moment and the gift of pro-active unemployment Emmett has given me. I’m not sure what was more shocking to me: that I had forgotten what my old life used to be or that I had forgotten so easily and so completely what my old life used to be. It was as if I had stepped out of that person five years ago as casually as if I were taking off a pair of shoes at the end of the day—an act completely un-memorable and un-noteworthy. And that sort of made me sad because I have always been proud of my accomplishments in that part of my life—or at least I thought I had been. How could I now be so dismissive of it all?

Yet, as I sit here waiting for my car to be done, I realize my forgetfulness doesn’t mean I’m being dismissive. It simply means I have immersed myself so fully in this next stage of my life, as I should, that I haven’t had many reasons to reach back into the memory bank. The only reason to do such a thing would be to draw upon a past strength or confidence that I felt was missing in me now. And while I’ve had many “oh-crap-what-have-I-done” and “I-have-no-idea-what-I’m-doing” moments, I certainly haven’t felt weak or insecure (or weak or insecure enough) to need a little backup by taking a trip down memory lane.

All of this is to say there is nothing more comforting than knowing you are right where you need to be. So if you aren’t, do something, anything, big or small, to get yourself there. Someday, when you’re sitting in the “customer lounge” of your dealership waiting for your car to be serviced, you’ll thank yourself.

Trust me.