We all have different vehicles in life and they’re not the kind you automatically think of. The vehicles I write about are more metaphorical and somewhat spiritual.
The ‘vehicles of life’ still take you from point A to point B, but unlike a car, bus, train or plane that takes you to a physical destination, the ‘vehicles of life’ take you from one chapter of your life to another.
These ‘vehicles’ are the relationships, friendships, partnerships, jobs, businesses, illnesses and situations we encounter or are involved in throughout our lives.
Basically, something or someone who comes into your life at the perfect moment, at the right time to take you from one part of your life to another, teaching you something along the way and dropping you off at the next chapter in your life.
Here me out on this, it may sound silly, but it will make sense.
Our lives are filled with endings and beginnings and I’d like to think of life as many different journeys, not just one long one.
Some journeys are hard, long and exhausting, but once it’s over, never are you the same person again. Some journeys are shorter, smoother and easier, but never doubt that you still had something to learn from it. And some journeys never end.
Regardless, each journey makes you stronger, wiser and better.
These journeys of yours could be anything – making a new friendship, cultivating a new relationship, getting a new job, starting a new career path, moving to a new country, studying something new – it could be anything.
But usually, a point comes in that journey, whether it’s on your own accord, someone else’s accord or just what the universe had planned, that chapter in your life comes to end, making room for the new.
The friendship ends, the relationship falls apart, you quit the job, you move back to your home country, you finish your studies. The ‘vehicle of life’ that brought you from point A to B, breaks down, stops working, gets old, falls apart, crashes, gets replaced or leaves.
Sometimes it’s a happy ending, sometimes sad, and sometimes it’s neither – it is what it is.
Sure, there was definitely a time during that journey where your ‘vehicle’ was working perfectly fine, when it was brand new and had zero kilometers. You’d get it serviced regularly, you’d look after it, wash it, clean it, fill it with fuel.
Just like a new relationship or new job – everything is new, exciting, you look after it, you nurture it, you learn new things about it, it runs smoothly. If it starts breaking down, you find ways to fix it and mend it because you want to be in it, you don’t want another one, you want to fix this one and make sure it continues to run smoothly.
But over time, just like any other vehicle, no matter how much you try to fix it, service it, mend it or clean it, that relationship or job may let you down. It could become unreliable, stopping in the middle of the road, in the middle of the night, leaving you frustrated and alone in the dark.
You might start toying with the idea of leaving it there and continuing your journey by foot. But, it’s cold, it’s dark, you’re alone and scared. There’s no certainty about whether you will survive if you leave your vehicle behind or whether you will find a safer and more reliable vehicle to continue your journey with.
So, you get back in, sit behind the steering wheel for a while, say your prayers and restart the vehicle hoping it won’t break down again.
Just like an old car, that relationship or job might continue breaking down and you’ll realise that it’s just not viable for you to keep investing mental and emotional funds into fixing it anymore. It’s just been worn and torn too much and it’s time to let it go.
It’s time to park it somewhere and say goodbye to that vehicle. It took you through a particular journey, and you know deep down that’s where your journey with that vehicle was meant to end. Regardless, that ‘vehicle’ got you to a certain point in life.
You may hate or love where your journey ended. You may have had a choice or no choice at all in where you got out. Sometimes you don’t really care, you’re just happy you got rid of that vehicle! You may or may not like the new vehicle you hopped into. It may be a rental vehicle or a temporary ride until you find a more permanent vehicle.
As I said, this vehicle is a metaphor for these journeys in your life. You’re the owner and driver of your journey and your vehicle.
You could abuse it, thrash it and do burnouts in it, ultimately burning yourself out in the process. You could drive crazy, speed and be erratic with it, but it won’t take you far before you end up crashing. Or you could be grateful for it and love it for the place it holds in your life at this particular moment.
So, stop at the stop signs and don’t run the reds. When it’s time to go, go. When you see a yellow light, slow down. Same as in life, when your body, mind or soul are telling you to stop, just stop and rest. When the light is green and you feel it in your heart and soul, go. Step on it and go.
And never be envious when you see someone driving what appears to be a better vehicle than yours. You don’t know what their past journey looks like and how many vehicles they’ve had to upgrade to finally get that one. Instead of being envious, ask them how they got to where they are, you’ll find they’ve got a story or two you can learn a few things from.
Keep a light load. Don’t forget to clean the trunk of your vehicle, sometimes you carry way too much crap in the back that slows you down. Let go of junk from the past, don’t carry fears from the past into your future, don’t load your vehicle with baggage, it’s going to slow you down on your journey.
And once in a while pump up your own tyres, don’t leave them deflated. Don’t leave yourself deflated. Give yourself credit, encouragement, praise and love.
It’s also important to clean your windscreen, metaphorically speaking. You may not see the road ahead of you, because there is a build-up of dirt or old beliefs clouding your vision. You might think you need a new vehicle, but really you may just need to clear your vision and mind, and you’ll see that your vehicle will take you further than what you thought.
And over time you might get some dints and scratches, but don’t think that that vehicle doesn’t serve you anymore. Just because there are a couple of dints and scratches in your relationship or job that you should give up and move on to the next. Some vehicles can last you a lifetime, as long as you don’t sweat the small stuff.
Or there will be times when you’ll do everything in your power to care for your vehicle, but it just keeps breaking down. Ultimately, you realise it’s a shit box and just have to get rid of it. Because, and I hate to say it, sometimes in life you’re just given a lemon and it’s not worth trying to squeeze it for the two drops of bitter juice you’re going to get out of it.
So, get the hell in your new ride and don’t look back.