Set the gearshift for the high gear of your soul

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Some of my best thinking happens in the car when I’m mindlessly driving from point A to point B, in a semi-conscious, slightly hypnotic trance. Wind in my hair, sunshine on my arms, and music in my ears—life feels delicious and uncomplicated in these moments.

I have this tendency to want to beat the time of my arrival on my GPS. I don’t know if this is premeditated behavior or not, though I’m sure there are psychoanalysts in my midst who would say that everything is linked to either childhood or early adulthood. Who knows. I feel a weird sense of accomplishment when I arrive just under the time my GPS anticipated, like shaving off those five minutes is really going to make a difference.

The other day I drove my blue civic from Montclair, NJ, to Rockland County, NY, listening to the new Tori Amos along the way (her music always has a way of sucker punching you when you least expect it, eh?). I started to think about that time in my life so many years ago when my ex still mattered. I hated myself for going back there, but I felt it was an important flashback. I had a distinct memory of a friend telling me that my ex, this man that I absolutely loathed with every fiber of my being, was newly engaged.

It’s funny now, to think back on the days when the heat of a thousand suns burned my soul.

So, there I am, in my car, and it dawned on me. That memory isn’t about my ex and this woman he fell in love with (mazel!). it was about me trying to beat the clock—all these years, I was angry because he crossed an imaginary finish line first. What a transformative realization it was to come to grips with something so monumental. Finally, I was able to admit that way too much brain power was expended on something completely and utterly

FUCKING (yes in caps)


I turned up the volume and smiled at the hand life had given me. So far, I think I’ve played my cards just right.

I’ll get there when I get there—marriage, babies, the house with room for more foster pups. GPS be damned.

I can’t take any credit for the very awesome and creative blog post title, though I certainly struggled to come up with just the right one. Many thanks to Phish and their song Antelope. Hope to see you guys next run at the Garden 😉 

17 Comments… add one
Lynn September 25, 2017, 10:01 AM

Hahaha, yes, he’s not worth an ounce of your energy. And I do the same thing with my GPS when I drive.

Divya September 25, 2017, 10:03 AM

I’m with you on the GPS thing. It’s odd. And I always wondered why it mattered to me so much. (Even on days when I wasn’t running behind and I was in absolutely no hurry. I just liked ‘beating the clock.’)

I like your interpretation. I don’t know if I feel that way about all things but I definitely feel like it throws me for a loop when I set the expectation for something and then it’s not met.

Moral of the story: Set low expectations. Haahahha. Just kidding. I guess we all just have to understand that our future is unpredictable. All we have is the now.

<3 Loved this post today!

ShootingStarsMag September 25, 2017, 10:10 AM

Great post! I think it’s normal to feel like people are passing you by in this game of life, but like you said – you’ll get there. It’s whatever works best for YOU and not anyone else, let alone an ex. 🙂

Beth September 25, 2017, 11:09 AM

Yes, yes, YES. Music does that, it’s so powerful that way. And I totally understand those feelings, but you are right that it’s your timetable and that GPS can go take a flying leap. You’re still going places love. xoxo

Shann Eva September 25, 2017, 12:45 PM

I used to totally be trying to beat the clock too. I thought I’d be married with kids right out of college, and when that didn’t happen, I kinda freaked out. Whenever it happened to someone else, it felt like I was failing. Then, I finally realized there is no “right” time. It was like a weight was lifted, and that’s, of course, when I met my husband. Funny how life works.

KIMBERLY AIRHART September 25, 2017, 2:04 PM

I GPS everything. Even if I know where I am going just so I can beat the time it says I will get there. You are not alone.

Kimberly September 25, 2017, 2:09 PM

YES girl YES. I totally get you on this. Even with the FUCKING on caps.
Who knows what that douche canoe is doing and how he’s feeling. Maybe he married a miserable cow and he’s wishing for YOUR life. See…keep focusing on your bubble. That’s what I do. xoxo

Karen September 25, 2017, 6:37 PM

That’s a pretty awesome epiphany.
Driving, for me, clears my head. I don’t think about anything.

Just before I fall asleep or right when I wake up is when I have my aha moments.
For What It’s Worth

Shannon September 25, 2017, 8:39 PM

I love the post title Charlotte and how well it goes with your post. Definitely seems like you were inspired to write this and just free wrote your little heart out, I love it! These are always the best kind of posts! I have accepted the fact that I don’t do anything on anyone else’s terms except for my own, fuck society 🙂

Corey | The Nostalgia Diaries September 26, 2017, 1:44 AM

God, don’t you just love epiphanies like that? Let’s get rid of all the useless ways we waste our time worrying about things totally out of our control and about people who don’t deserve our thoughts in the first place. YES!

Shybiker September 26, 2017, 9:48 AM

Driving/riding is perfect for deep reflection: our brains disengage from ordinary distractions and delve into bigger areas. It’s why I love motorcycles so much. And I’m just like you in that I race against my GPS’s arrival-time!

Crystal // Dreams, etc. September 26, 2017, 11:13 AM

I love this so much! This is exactly what I needed to read today, Charlotte.

Akaleistar September 26, 2017, 7:37 PM

Yes! I love beating my GPS, and I want to be first in life, too. This year has definitely been testing me to accept life at my own pace.

lisa thomson September 26, 2017, 7:39 PM

I love an epiphany. This is a good one, Charlotte. For sure, we get caught up in comparing things…even with our ex. It’s good to finally realize it doesn’t matter what they do. What matters is what we do and how we do it. Hmmm, that sounds like a riddle.

San September 29, 2017, 12:11 PM

Yes, so true. It’s hard sometimes to accept that we’ll all hit our milestones when the time is right… there is no “one-way” to do things in this life. Luckily!

Tamara September 29, 2017, 7:27 PM

I totally get that finish line mentality! Been there!
And now I’m dying to know how the new Tori Amos is!

Karen Peterson October 2, 2017, 3:55 PM

Oh my gosh I have totally been there!

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