I had a great time driving back from Maine last week.
There was one section of the drive home, I think ME-131 S or ME-235 S or thereabouts north of Boothbay Harbor, where the road felt (to me) a bit like a kid-friendly roller-coaster. Up and down, twist and turn. Not at full speed (because I’m sane, and because I was in a friend’s Prius and not a car I could drive like the maniac I truly am inside) and without loop-di-loops taking me upside down, but it was still such a fun whirl.
That section of the trip was my favorite.
I love the whirl. I love the adrenaline rush, even when it’s only a little one. I love the way the world flies by around me. I only have to think about exactly what I am doing in that moment. My focus never slips.
Driving on the highway, by comparison, is so much harder for me. Yeah, the lanes are clearly marked. The exits are labeled. It’s easy to see what’s in front of you. Simple, right?
But there are so many decisions. So much anxiety. Am I going to miss my exit? Am I in the correct lane? Should I speed up or slow down? Cruise control is great, but then I risk losing focus. So I have to blast some music and bop and sing along. I’m still paying complete attention to the road, because if I don’t – if I don’t care about what I’m doing – bad things can happen. But I have to distract myself or the anxiety takes over.
I’m thinking about those two segments of my drive, and how well they describe what it’s like inside my brain sometimes.