When I was 16 my dad had a Datsun 280Z. It was silver like a bullet and it moved like a bullet. I learned how to drive stick in this car and I knew this car was a privilege to drive.
The day I got my license, I was looking for any reason to drive alone and there it was sitting on the kitchen counter. A rented VHS tape that needed to be returned. (Yep, I'm 136 years old.) I picked up the tape, shook it at my dad, he tossed me the keys to the Z. Yes!
I got in the car, pulled out of the driveway and started down the empty farm roads. I was about 100 yards from my house when I looked over at the empty passenger seat. I felt so much freedom and I pushed down on that gas pedal.
Soon after, the speedometer was easily sitting at 110, radio blaring. Man, it was so fun. So free. I sped down those empty streets, not one car in sight.
I was about to see what this car could really do, when I flew through a stop sign. My foot immediately came off the gas pedal. My heart raced. I looked in the rear view mirror. Was there anyone back there? What if I had run into someone?
My freedom suddenly became very scary. I pulled over. Chills raced up the back of my neck. This freedom could literally kill me. I breathed in. After a couple minutes pulling my newly 16 year old self back together. I turned on my turn signal. I checked my blind spot a few times before slowly and carefully pulling back onto the totally empty farm roads.
This is when I learned that you have to treat freedom with respect. It is a privilege. It is important. That is where I am sitting right now. In a huge amount of freedom. Because of my back injury, work slowed. Because of the drugs I was taking, I stopped writing and didn't have my normal ambition. I'm no longer the dancer I was.
So, here I am. With the freedom to be whoever I wanted to be. The freedom to take whatever job I want. The freedom to live where ever I want to live. And the scariest part of freedom, the freedom to do absolutely nothing. I have to respect this freedom. I have to pull over and take a breath. What do I want to do with this freedom? Just sit around and do nothing? Or check my blind spot and pull back into traffic and work on my dreams.
Here we go. I'm figuring out how to get back on the road.