Put the pedal to the metal. Hit the road. Take the wheel. Get your kicks on route 66.
I believe in drive-therapy. Rough day? Drive. Fight with significant other? Drive. Dreadful last class? Drive.
A good long aimless drive can cure a lot of ails.
As a 16 – 17 year old, for whatever reason I never had the urge or felt the necessity to get my license. I was almost 18 when I got mine: in fact, only 2 weeks prior to my 18th birthday did I achieve freedom. Granted, there’s probably some deep-seated mental block regarding my seeming lack of drive to drive – it most likely stems from having failed my first driver’s test. Anyway…I did pass when I was almost 18 and it opened a whole new world. Really, it’s quite surreal – that ability to flee and do it quickly, not just avoid and hide out in a bedroom, but to go away and remove oneself from the scene entirely. Get in the car and go.
Driving is (albeit stressful at times) one of the most therapeutic activities; mind you not riding, but driving. To take control, speed up, slow down, vent, relax, enjoy, contemplate, dwell, forget, decompress, as paradoxical as these words may seem together, they all are experienced in a good drive. Maybe not all in one drive, but boy is that possible too. Music can help, but so can the whirr of the road, the smell of lilacs when the windows are open, the fluff of cottonweed floating around. The pleasures of the road are undeniable (unless you have allergies of course!).
Teaching urban high school English can be a bit draining – to say the least; thank goodness I have a half hour drive home. Yes! I am grateful for those 30 minutes of peace and quiet. I have often heard about teachers who don’t want children of their own, or if they have their own children are so wiped out from schooling kids all day they have nothing left for their own family. Hence the power of drive therapy; my half-hour of drive therapy is magical; I vent and decompress from all the stress and anxiety of the day so I can go home with a clear head and heart to devote to my family.
With the exception of my 30 minute commute, I get very little time for long aimless drives. Since the teenage angst, college decompression and singleton eras have all passed in my life, there is little turmoil and drive therapy is kind of taking a backseat to let parenthood take control; I look forward to those long lazy Sunday drives. Life will come full circle and hopefully the years will settle down, but I will never stop believing in the power of drive therapy.
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