My head bounced lightly against the headrest my small stature would barely permit me to reach. I held my breath as my eyes centered in on the red light in front of me. With my fingers wrapped around the volume knob, I drowned out the booming voice of my father to an almost inaudible whisper. From my passenger seat I nodded complacently with one eye on my father and one on the light. But when that light turned green, we didn’t talk anymore. As the engine revved, my body molded to the back of the seat and the car raced forward. I watched in awe as my father’s hand unconsciously shifted gears and we hugged the curb at each bend. The beat of the music pulsed in time with the strobe-light-like sun passing in intervals through the trees. The lines on the road became a blur as we turned down winding streets, and my body lurch from side to side. We mocked cars ambling slowly down the road that meandered with no intention and no ambition. This was our time, where every fork in the road offered a new twist or turn that we would take on fast and fearless. We drove fast to keep things interesting, never fully sure of where we would end up.
Now that I am beginning to drive myself, my mind occasionally wanders back to the time when I was the passenger looking to my father to make the turns and choose our path. With my foot on the pedal and my hands wrapped around the wheel, I glance to my right and see my father patiently watching my first tentative turns. As my confidence increases, so does my speed. With each bend and sudden turn, I am exhilarated. Having learned the mechanics of driving from AAAA classes, I am finding that I have more to learn from the person in the passenger seat. There is no limit to where I can go or how I can get there. Picking up the speed as I am behind the wheel, causes me to make quick unfettered decisions and to never second guess myself. It is up to me to choose my destination.
I believe in driving fast, and taking the turns at full speed. I believe in the spontaneity of it and how every sudden turn I make could alter my path. As I go through life, I plan to be the driver, not the passenger. I will live in the moment and see where my split-second decisions take me, even if right now that only means a turn on Given Road.