"The unexamined life is not worth living" Socrates

- - scatterings of ideas sent to my younger self, a sensitive girl who was fooled into believing she was a boy because of anatomy - -

Friday 28 October 2011

Stuck in Traffic

If you can imagine life as a journey, it seems to me that challenges can be dealt with, and disappear, or they can be ignored, and pushed down, and after a while they become so repetitive that they are like a traffic jam, forcing you to turn and take a new route, or put it in reverse to get to a place where going forward is possible, or just sit there, stuck.

Sweetie and I have a good relationship for the most part, but let us face it, life with me has not been a trip down a superhighway; nice and smooth with lots of opportunity to see where she is going. More like a narrow country road with hedges up both sides (I am thinking of a B road near Bath in England right now).
She has had to be prepared to stop suddenly to avoid oncoming traffic (me) going in the opposite direction from her intended. Such is the examined life, that it has been important to be able to stop and back up and change course to avoid traffic jams, or routes that go too near to drop-offs.

I do not like doing this to her; making her unsure of us when what she wants most is certainty, like that superhighway. Given a choice of course I would live in the open, and would drive straight ahead, sure of myself and happy being who I am. It would be a road less traveled, that is for sure, but it would be mine, not one for someone who I have been forced to invent. Oh how I hope, when I find and take that road, that she wants to drive a road that takes us to the same place.

In her post  "I panicked…" this past week, Rhiannon asks the question that is like a ghost haunting me too:
"Why has my life, yet again, become one of sneaking around, hiding, lying to the people I love to protect something I'm proud of and that is not wrong or shameful, but instead is a big part of who I am. Why, in the place of greatest intimacy and supposed trust am I forced to be the pretend me?"

To end the analogy with driving, life right now is a lot like being in a big round-about. I feel as though I am stuck, but I know there are lots of different routes available. I am taking my time, and trying to be sure I do not have to come back here yet again in the future.

This old wreck hasn't many miles left on it for that sort of nonsense.


  1. In as much as my 'sweetie' and I are trying to work through this maze we all seem to have in common, I find what you have said here to ring remarkably true with my wife and I. All my wife and I can do, and are doing, is to give this all to the Lord and let Him, in His Omniscience, take charge. He has been so Gracious to both of us.

    You are forever, as are everyone I know in my personal life and here in 'lala' land, in my prayers every day.

    Hugs and Prayers,


  2. Maybe superhighways and certainty aren't actually normal. Not that you want a dirt track and insecurity, but reality is probably somewhere in between. The country road sounds rather lovely! I don't think most people have certainty, either in life or in their relationships.

    As for the roundabout, I hope you don't get too dizzy before you figure out which road to take!


  3. I am so with Ariel here. Normal is actually the paved but very winding country road with many blindsides and blindspots. Sometimes I wish someone told me when I was young that "Shit Happens!" I cannot believe it took me so long to figure this one out.

    In the end when you both choose the same road it will be grand, but if not then it is just one of those things that happens in life. "In a place of greatest intimacy and trust" being strangers is a choice not an inevitable event. And that choice is not yours.

  4. Some real life travel experience to add to the analogy of life being a adveture journey: our GPS car navigation system is inclined to lead us to our chosen destination by way of the shortest route and this provides us with a lot of unexpected but surprisingly wonderful views on the rural life of countries we travel trough. Secondly: when not sure which exit to take we stay as long on the roundabout as is needed to make a choise and take the right direction.

  5. Twenty years ago, the whole family took a road trip across Canada. One particular day, after driving for fifteen hours, we were desperate for a place to put our tent trailer for the night. City and town lodgings were full and campsites were nowhere to be found. Driving along a two lane highway, the reflective strips on an RCMP vehicle got our attention. I stopped the car and asked for help. The officer said there was a campground only a mile or so along the cross-street we were at. Radioing ahead, he asked them to keep the gates open for us (it was close to midnight) and we found safe haven for the night.

    Sometimes we need to ask for help rather than just drive around it seems.

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  7. I appreciate your caution. My wife and I are proceeding slowly, squinting through the hedges to espy the opportunities and hazard of our respective gender inquiries.

    Recognizing our shared discontent with standard gender roles has brought us together. Now at last we are on the same road.

    And she thinks I look pretty in a dress.

    (I deleted my first post because typos rendered it incomprehensible.)

  8. Thanks for the comment Kim.

    It sounds as though you have a much richer journey in some ways that we do.
    Sharing the discontent with gender roles would make certainly make conversations much more interesting.

    It has occurred to me that part of my sweetie's concern is that I might look pretty in a dress.

  9. That concern can have the most interesting results.

  10. How much of ourselves do we compromise away before we decide to go our own way ? The answer is different for everyone and often is as much about fear as it is about wisdom

  11. Kelly, more and more for us it is about feelings (such as fear and guilt and shame) and how those change with time and experience. The facts have been laid out and rarely seem to change.

    Sweetie and I know we are both living with compromises, but are also gaining in various ways too.

    Our wisdom in this case seems to be exhibited in patience and our desire to learn and find a way forward together.