As I have mentioned briefly before, I am driving again, I have felt ready to drive for a while now but I was waiting to pay for car insurance until after my trip to Ireland to save every dollar I could for my trip. Once I got back I paid for car insurance and started driving. It was “shaky” at first, much like waking up from a long sleep and trying to run right away; I stumbled a bit but once I warmed up it all came back, just like riding a bike… a bike with a 6 cylinder engine burning fossil fuel propelling you to around 70 miles per hour in a matter of seconds. It felt… good.
I mostly have been doing short drives around town just to get comfortable behind the wheel again. Occasionally I would hop on the freeway and just go a few exits down the road to get a little taste you know? Yesterday I wanted to take it to the next level (since I will be doing much driving when my girlfriend comes to visit in a few weeks) plus I needed to get out of the house for a while so I drove to Claremont which is near Ontario (40 miles/74 kilometers from home) to visit my best friend. It’s funny because you expect such a drive (after so long of not going that far) to feel exciting, different, weird, but no, it just felt… normal… like I had just made that drive last week.
Walking around Claremont did feel a tad weird though; I have not been there in so long, to just walk around among the downtown life of college students, restaurants, bars, traffic, trains, lights, the whole “downtown street life”, it made me feel like I had traveled back in time to a previous life, a life I thought to have been long gone. It felt good, I felt like myself again, I felt free. I still walked a little weird and had to be careful of the temperature but I never pictured myself parking on top of that parking structure and taking the elevator down to the street level again; walking past that same old restaurant I have never been to or cared to try, walking across the street and climbing those short steps behind the frozen yogurt shop around the overpriced Mexican food restaurant to finally sit down by the movie theater and look across the small eating area full of laughter and small children climbing the decorative water pieces (with signs stating not to let children climb on them) towards the Hotel I have always wanted to visit but probably never will due to a limited sized wallet.
I had traveled back in time and what was most weird is how I felt so different… so much older even though it has not even been that long. I think I feel this way because so much has happened in my life over the last year and a half, I have changed so much, I am not the same person I was last time I sat there on that cement bench. What used to seem important or interesting no longer matters to me, my priorities have changed so much, the things I placed value on in life have changed drastically, all my goals are different, everything! As I sat and watched people go about their lives I felt like a different person thinking about the dreams of an old friend who had long ago died. Two years ago I would have never guessed that life would put me where I am today, it really supports the idea that time is relevant to the individual. The age of my body and the age of my mind are not the same, and they never will be again, it’s weird but I am OK with that, I am happy where I am and where I am going.