An astronomical portion of my job is travel. I get an oil change every two to three weeks, if that puts it into perspective. As a result, I have made some observations so obvious to me yet oblivious to half of the population sharing those roads with me. Most people seem painfully unaware of this most basic concept, and yet it is incredibly conducive to bridging the gap between Point A and Point B efficiently.

Allow me to spell it out for you. The left lane is not for you!

This morning alone I had to pass from the right lane on the interstate due to someone cruising idly in the left lane at least half a dozen times. I know I am not the only one aware of this simple road etiquette, so why is my perception of the world revealing otherwise? You can find the disconnect replicating itself in several other real-life situations.

Hear me out. How many times have you been zooming towards a goal, and I mean blazing the pathway to some sort of enlightenment only for someone in the right lane to scoot on over at a snail’s pace before you could pass? They didn’t even use a turn signal to boot, so you had no way to prepare for the sudden disruption. What is worse is the person might have spotted you carrying on your way from their rearview when they decided it was time to slow you down a bit.

I’ve run into this situation several times, and I’m willing to be honest and transparent enough to admit I have been the person in the right lane, as well. I’ve encountered many individuals that decided their final destination depended on mine; therefore, they had a right to determine the course for both of us. I have been just as guilty, and I’m not proud of it. Here you are, though, in some sort of standoff where neither party can proceed to their original intended destination; a stalemate. The outcome was always the same; neither of us arrived at Point B.

Is that love? Is that love for yourself over someone else? Is it love for someone else over yourself? I don’t believe it is either. In fact, I believe it is the opposite no matter how unconscious the action might be, so what is one to do when encountering this problem?

You pull into the right lane, and you go around him or her. Why not?

My husband and I have an interesting dynamic, which I have not had the pleasure of experiencing prior to our meeting. I did not experience it in my upbringing, and I certainly did not experience it in my romantic relationships previously. My first experiences of the social world were this oppressive belief in fusion; everyone has to go the same route at the same pace. My husband and I seem to lack this belief, and I have to admit it is nothing short of liberation.

Whenever he spots me in the left lane, he might reach out a hand to allow our fingertips to brush, and he might shoot me a wink. He might tell me my taillight is out, and he will likely offer to fix it. He would never dream of slowing me down or stopping me, though. Why would he? And likewise, why would I stop him when the shoe is on the other foot? Becoming the best versions of ourselves benefit us and our relationship more than fusing ourselves into one entity; an entity so full of shit. That is not to say we take many journeys together, but most journeys in the philosophical and psychological sense of the word must be undertaken in solitude. Carl Jung called this process individuation, which is the process one goes through to become distinct and separates you from everyone else.

I find this to be the most realistic representation of love, as you have to accept your partner for they are and who they can actually become as opposed to some idealized version you created in your own mind. Allow that person the freedom to be who they are and make their own way, because the left lane is not for you.

3 thoughts on “Road Rage

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