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Merging, Lane Changes, and Unprotected Turns

kawaiidaigakusei at 12:00AM, Nov. 7, 2016
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During the October season, I wanted to write a horror article about the things that really scare me, but I was sidetracked with deadlines, longer work hours, and lack of sleep. Halloween is now one week behind us and the Winter cold has drawn us closer into his tight embrace. I am reminded about the things that really do terrify me on a regular basis more than ghouls and witches ever will.

I have been labeled an overcautious driver as the two car accidents I have been involved with this year happened while I was driving under 2 mph. I actually drive a forty minute detour for a twenty one minute commute just to avoid the anxiety traps of merging, lane changes, and unprotected turns. I am Iucky because my company allows me to entertain my neurosis as long as I get the job done on time. The overlying reason these three driving manuevers scare me is because there is a split second of uncertainty, a blind spot that might fail to see an approaching car that could cause a collision.

It is fear that drives most of these concerns, fear of everything happening in the rear view mirror while I am trying to observe everything happening right in front of me. The amount of power that fear has over an individual at any given moment is incredible. Fear is a disabler that cripples and hinders me from living a complete and fulfilling life.

Today is a special day because by the time this article goes live, it will be my birthday. I am writing this on an airplane miles above the continental United States. The very first newspost I had written for Drunk Duck coincided with my birthday three years ago, which means today marks my third year anniversary as a newspost and feature writer for the site.

Ever since my twenty-first birthday (ten years ago), I would spend my birthday sitting alone in the Tom Bradley Terminal at the Los Angeles Airport. I would stare at the large marquee that listed all the depature times for international flights and imagine all the different destination cities I could travel. This year was very different because instead of being a casual observer in an airport terminal, I decided to let go of a small amount of fear. The next thing I knew, I was standing in line to board a plane heading toward Keflavik, Iceland.

In the evening of the flight, I was able to see the Northern Lights for the first time in the night sky. It was magical and presented the lore of Norse mythology passed down the generations.

I looked down the runway as the plane made its final descent to Iceland, the dark tundra to the North, that I had only read about previously in a Scandinavian literature class. No matter what anyone says, it is always better to experience the feel of being in a new country in person.

Back to the original idea of this article: it is easy to be manipulated by the fears that are in our blindspots. We need to trust other drivers will do the right thing instead of being preoccupied with everything happening in the rearview mirror, dividing our attention as a result. Letting go, even for just a small moment can lead to even more terrifying experiences with even greater rewards.


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anonymous?

kawaiidaigakusei at 11:03AM, Nov. 7, 2016

Thank you, all!

cdmalcolm1 at 9:12AM, Nov. 7, 2016

Happy B'Day

Bruno Harm at 6:21AM, Nov. 7, 2016

Happy birthday! I once had a car blow through a red light right in front of me. Neither of us slowed down at all. I didn't have any time to react. All I could do was drive home, and go hug my wife and son. It's a crazy world and we're all going to die. Enjoy your travels!

Banes at 4:45AM, Nov. 7, 2016

Three years of kawaii newsposts already? Wow, they flew by! This is some powerful writing about the effects of fear on our lives. Happy birthday!

Ironscarf at 4:10AM, Nov. 7, 2016

Many happy returns! Gosh those three years went quickly.

KimLuster at 3:53AM, Nov. 7, 2016

Happy B'day, Kawaii...!! Driving!! I don't have a real fear of driving, but I do have knowlodge that 'happenstance' type accidents are more likely while driving (someone runs a traffic light or stop sign, nearly side-swiping you). There's a feeling of dread that one day the dice are just gonna roll against you... and you just can't thing about too much else you'll never get in the car...!!

kawaiidaigakusei at 12:59AM, Nov. 7, 2016

Thank you!

plymayer at 12:20AM, Nov. 7, 2016

Happy birthday.


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