Pull Out Now (Not Like That)

You’re ready for anything. But if that’s the case then really you’re ready for nothing. Basically we’re ready for everything and nothing all at the same time and then convince ourselves that at some arbitrary time of our choosing we’re ready for the thing that we want to achieve.

The example in my title is pulling out into busy traffic (and not the dirtier thing you were thinking. Sometimes I really do despair). We’ve all done it (assuming you drive). You pull up to a T-junction and want to pull onto the main thoroughfare but there’s a lot of traffic. So, you wait, politely. And wait. And think after these three cars there’s a gap and I’ll go then only to find that there isn’t. Eventually you become impatient and start edging your car out into the traffic, politely at first and then impatiently until someone stops and let’s you in, or you do in fact just block the way and they have to. You’ve done that, right? Well, I’ve got a few points to make.

Firstly, unless you’re the star of your own personal Truman Show (I’m secretly of the opinion that I might be but not convinced that I have enough drama in my life to make it worthwhile viewing) then the traffic going passed is all fresh and not just doing laps of the block. Why does this matter? Because despite your politeness or rudeness each driver is seeing you with a fresh pair of eyes and is therefore judging you in that particular moment, not 30 seconds earlier or later. Therefore if you appear to be timid and polite (because you’ve just arrived at the junction) then that’s what they’ll see, if you appear pushy and rude (because you’ve been at the junction for 5 minutes but it seems like an eternity and you’d really like to be home now, thank-you-very-much) then that’s how they will judge you. What they will not do is see your frustration build over time and therefore give you the benefit of compassion when deciding whether or not to let you in.

Second thing. The situation remains more or less the same throughout. Unless you’re being chased by the police and therefore probably aren’t all that concerned about this whole picture I’m painting and can go about your nefarious business at your leisure, then you’re under as much time pressure when you pulled up to the junction as you were when you finally pulled into the traffic. Therefore, the only thing that governs this situation is your outlook and decision making (assuming that it essentially takes the same, short amount of time to orientate yourself to each new T-junction).

Ergo, the only thing that affects whether or not you spend 30 seconds or 5 minutes at that junction is your ability to act and not be too worried about what others think (bearing in mind that in this situation you are all drivers and therefore most will understand your situation). And such is life and the universe. It doesn’t see or care what went before or what will come after, all that matters is what you do right now to get to where you are going. Sure, you can wait until you’re ‘ready’ but be assured that it’ll just take you longer to get where you were going anyway.

1 Comment

  1. A really interesting point about only being viewed in the now rather than the before or after. I subscribe to that.

    I’d like you to elaborate on the point: “You’re ready for anything. But if that’s the case then really you’re ready for nothing.” – I’m not sure that i follow the logic. I’m also not sure that it’s the same point as the “acting in the now”.

    Great post.


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