I had an experience this past weekend that made me stop and ask myself, Who are you? Was that really me? Did I just do that? And it felt good in the new role, struttin’ this new attitude, wearin’ my new shoes. Strange shoes but good ones.
I was driving on to the ferry. The ferry worker signaled me to drive ahead and board. I moved ahead until I noticed a car on the right side of my vehicle swiftly approaching and cutting into my lane. I stopped. From my angle if I kept going forward she would have run into me.
This is at least how my two passengers and myself saw it. Yes, I know, there are three sides to every story. (Car #1’s side, Car #2’s side, and what really happened.)
I gave the other driver the wave to go ahead. Trust me a “look” accompanied the wave. Not a scowl, not the finger, just a “look” that could have been interpreted in many ways, but trust me, the “look” was harmless. I didn’t’ mouth a thing – cussing curtailed, thank you very much.
She went ahead and when she got on the ferry she rolled down her window saying something to the ferry worker. They seemed to share a chuckle. I no dummy, I know what the chuckle was over, but I was the new me without knowing it and I didn’t say a thing. (The passengers in my car may have another story.)
Parking on the ferry behind said vehicle, I noticed her get out of the car and march toward me. I rolled down my window as she approached my side of the car. I want you to know there are two lanes to get on the ferry. I wasn’t cutting you off.
We both can drive on at the same time, she went on. I wasn’t cutting you off, you looked at me like you thought I was cutting you off.
I smiled. She turned and walked away.
Awesome, I called out to her, thank you.
The old me would have gone into a long debate, trying to prove that either my “look”, wasn’t a “look” or that she indeed was trying to cut me off or I most definitely would have flipped her off behind her back.
I think, but then again, this is just my side, one side of a three sided story, that my brevity took her by surprise. Her “look” seemed to say, You bitch, for not saying any more, for not defending yourself, for standing there and smiling.
I have been that woman before, marching forward with a need to set a stranger straight. In the grand scheme of things, does it matter? Does it matter that I didn’t know she was not cutting me off? Does it matter to her that I was scared when I saw her car coming toward us? Letting go of the need to be known, understood and RIGHT is freeing.
It felt strange to let it all go and leave it there on the car deck. A good strange. In the past, interactions like these can absorb my being, turning me into an obsessed woman, who can’t let it go.
Letting it go leaves room for so much more. I was lighter walking up the ferry stairs.