So today as the title gives preview to, I went for a drive. What Robyn, you willingly went out onto the roads and played dodge the pothole?? Well, yes, that was in fact a part of my drive today. God bless the “crossroads” of America, may they be fixed sooner rather than later.
Ever since I can remember (or more so, since I was rewarded with a license at the age of 16) I have always found some strange peace in going for a drive. I love the act of turning the music so loud that my thoughts don’t have a chance of being heard. Driving has always seemed to heal my heart in life’s most painful moments and bring about a perspective that I didn’t have when I fastened my seat belt at the beginning of the journey.
It was very unintentional today, but my drive took me down “memory lane” as cliche as that sounds. A truer statement is probably that my drive literally took me past so many places that have very strong memories for me. Today, I was in a space where I let myself experience those memories deeply.
The Academy Award for supporting actress (to my memories as the lead role) goes to my music. There are few things on this earth that can get a strong emotion out of me like music and scents. Music and certain smells have the power to transport me back to a very specific period in time and bring a memory into its full picture. This whole drive I listened to all sorts of music. The only characteristic this music had in common (literally the ONLY one) was that it was all music I listened to sometime between 2010-2013. All genres present and louder than a first row concert, the music heavily impacted my journey today. It usually corresponded with a lot of the memories I was having… often giving them more color and my feelings stronger emotions. (**Also, don’t let me confuse you, it is the Grammys that are on tonight, not the Academy Awards.**)
This drive started by visiting Kroger. (I needed hot dog buns for dinner.) But instead of going to my “every day” Kroger, you know, the one like 3 minutes from your house that you go to every day, I went to the Kroger from my past life. I went to the Kroger that flooded me with memories of when Matt and I lived in our apartment. During our time at the apartment, this specific Kroger was my every day Kroger. While not tremendously long ago, moving out on my own and in with my first ‘adult’ significant other was a large and scary leap to take as a young 20-something. It was just as large of a memory. I relived the memory with a smile knowing now the insane amount of self-discovery that happened during that ‘700 square feet of living space’ period in my life.
As I continued, I passed the place of my first job. This flooded my mind with greasy memories of 2-a-day showers and curly fries stuck in between the grips on my “non-slip” shoes. Shout out to those who have or who are currently working in the fast food industry. Those shoes are NOT actually non-slip; and, the worst part of closing the restaurant will always be cleaning the fryers while simultaneously hating THAT drive thru customer at 11:59pm. Even larger shout out to those who had their hand intertwined in mine during this time of my life. The co-workers, friends, managers, I remember you. (And kudos to my mom who did my HELLA gross laundry circa 2008-2010.)
I passed the houses of my previous boyfriends and the home of my previous friends. These memories are all unique but similar in a common thread. I somehow always remember myself speeding home to meet my curfew not wanting to get in trouble. (Yay for minimal “being grounded” days as a high schooler.)
In present day, I found myself reliving the wounds of hurt and heartache at relationships that ended. If my memories were driving the car, I had an intense moment of “jeez I hope I don’t break down here.” That’s the therapy in driving I think—I was able to let the memories come, knowing that they would leave just as quickly if I just kept driving. It’s meditative in nature for me to “visit in passing” and not “stop for a visit”. (Which is the true reason this blog lacks in pictures and visuals of all that I drove by today. Nothing was worth “stopping for a visit” or a picture. I apologize that this blog wasn’t worth the extra moments of energy those memories would require.)
I sit here typing as the sun sets, and I am so incredibly grateful for the lessons all the people of the past have taught me.
The appreciation I have for the footprints that have passed through my heart is so great. I am who I am today because of the tough lessons I have learned and the real life I have lived. It was raw, at times unguarded and 100% reckless, but it was necessary. Every memory, every experience, every emotion, all of them imperative to get me to this moment, on my couch, as the sun sets.
I’ll spare you the 8,000 other memories I experienced today and get to the conclusion. As I pulled back into my driveway, opened the door to my husband and all things familiar, I took a breath. The inside of my car might know me best.
It doesn’t matter the make or model as this “drive concept” has been present for them all. It (the car, or the greater “it”) knows the moments I need to feel, and the ones I just need to pass through. The ones I have the strength to revisit and appreciate. The ones that make me stronger and prove that change and evolution are ever so needed. Contrast those with the moments that equally prove I haven’t changed at all.
This drive was the dichotomy of being intensely present in emotion while also being on auto pilot. This drive, as most drives do, arrived at the destination I know so well. A familiar place. The destination of my “true self”, or my most “authentic self”. I drove today for no purpose other than enjoying the sunshine. I did enjoy the sunshine. I also enjoyed my memories as companions and my most authentic self as a passenger. Incredibly grateful for this space… and a 50 degree day in January. Go for the drive. I promise, it will be the best $6 in gas you have ever spent.