In a Moment, Everything Can Change
The weight of the day pulls heavy on my skin. I grip the steering wheel tight, and the leather squishes under my hands. Just… a little… farther.
The digital clock on the dashboard glows bright against darkness. 4:45 am. I think about how far I’ve gone and how little I have left to go. An hour seems like a long time, but compared to five I’ve already driven, it’s a tiny percentage.
Music. Music is what I need. I gaze downward to pick up my phone and the motion triggers the fatigue resting under the surface. In a split second, I fall asleep driving my car.
Rumble strips vibrate the tires, jolting me awake and I look up to see giant lights, barreling towards me. Instinct takes over, and I yank the steering wheel to the right, putting my car back between my own yellow lines.
Holy shit, what just happened?
I continue driving, my body heaving with adrenaline. The pieces of the moment fall into place in my brain. I just fell asleep at the wheel, my car glided into oncoming traffic, and I almost hit a semi head on.
Guilt fills the empty space. Why did I think it would be ok to drive in the middle of the night like this? Was it that important that I get everything done? What the F*** am I doing with my life????
This is my latest WTF am I doing with my life? moment. Two weeks ago, I drove from Las Vegas to San Louis Obispo, California to staff a women's workshop. Even though I had plenty of time to plan, I still jam packed my travel day with things that “had to get done.” When I finished, I left myself with only one option: drive six hours through the middle of the night.
I created a situation that could have changed my life forever (and also hurt someone else). I've known for a long time that I need to do things differently. I need to slow down. I need to be present. I need to prioritize. But up until this point, I hadn't been able to. In fact, I've just pushed harder. What I’ve found was that it’s because I have a bottomless pit inside me that incessantly says, “You’re not good enough.”
I believe we all have this voice in some way, and our strategy to deal with it can look very different. For me, it’s about proving that voice wrong. I attempt to show myself and others that I’m worthwhile because of what I can do. But, a bottomless pit never gets full. My game is un-win-able. No matter what I do, I end and begin each day with, “not enough.”
That moment was a wake up call literally and figuratively. It’s a clear example of how who we are being creates our reality. In a split second, my life could have been over because of my choices. I’m so grateful to learn this lesson without any serious consequences. I also understand the importance of not taking this feedback lightly.
Everything in our life is feedback. Looking back, it was if I wasn't even driving the car - it’ was the not good enough that is in control. This moment was feedback that my current life speed was not working. It gave me the opportunity to look deeply at what’s causing me to always feel like I need to do more.
Like all WTF am I doing with my life? moments - it’s an opportunity. How will my life and my approach be different? I’m not sure yet, but what I do know is that something needs to change.
Thank you, as always, for being on this journey with me.
Solo-episodes posted (pretty much) every Friday.