In the driving seat
For me, one of the hardest disciplines is waiting patiently: waiting to hear from other people, and having to accept more immobility than I would prefer. I have always wanted to run, skip, dance and move more than I could; and it has indeed been the work of years, to learn patience in the face of silence. Now, I prefer to reframe that unwelcome lesson with the reassurance that every silence is kind, and allows others – who are working hard on my behalf – to procure small miracles quietly. When I remember that “The Universe is constantly conspiring to work things out in our favour”, the most important thing is to decide, clearly, what I choose, and to let go.
Next week, I have to get myself to a recording studio over several days. It is out of town, on a route I am not familiar with. It also leads across one of the biggest and scariest roundabouts – with turnoffs and leads lanes of fast traffic – that I have ever encountered. I haven’t ever flown over it solo – My brave husband or the jolly taxi drivers do that – but I yesterday I did at least manage to get to the approach, before swinging off at a petrol station, just before showdown. I was rather petrified. But pleased with myself for driving so far.
Again, that fear mirrors much of the hesitancy I have about life, the indecision. It could be that, because I didn’t walk until I was five-and-a-half, I am simply unused to taking things in my stride. In the old days, my failure would have brought up feelings of loathing and despair, but now, I understand sadly, that forced immobility could excuse a lot, and there is no point being upset because I fail with what I set out to do. Maybe I will never be the best driver in the world, but I will always do my best. That thought will have to console me meantime. I will take cabs, which will cost far more than I can afford. Another hidden cost of disability? Not quite, but close.