Wednesday, 23 February 2011

Forward momentum

Over twelve years ago I got around to getting a provisional license and started learning to drive. I got most of the way through and was about to take my test when the accident happened. It took me two counsellors, a number of nights in tears, a lot of very bad decisions and nearly eleven years to start learning to drive again.

Tomorrow I take my first (and hopefully last) driving test.

Tomorrow in a way I can't really explain I close a chapter of my life that's been hanging over me for nearly twelve years, and I get to start moving again.

I've been saying to friends recently that I'm concentrating on me because I get to get better again. I'm not sure any of them really understood exactly what I meant and the sheer power such a statement has over me. I act as if I've got it altogether and like I'm calm and collected, but scratch the surface too deeply and you'll discover a rolling mass of neuroses and issues. Usually you just need to get me drunk, sometimes you just need to see me tired.

Over the last six months it's been a lot more prominent than normal. I've had panic attacks and flashbacks. I've randomly burst into tears for very little reason and I've made some decisions that I'm going to regret for the rest of my life. But I've had some successes too. I've managed to reconnect with a part of me that I hadn't even realised I'd lost. I've both grown and shrunk.

If I had to really describe it, I'd compare myself to a rubber band. A long time ago in a far away place somebody took hold of one end of it, and the two halves of it have slowly been stretching apart ever since. Now it's been let go and I'm snapping back into shape. There was a boom as the two halves connected, but suddenly there's a sense of movement, of forward momentum, that's been lacking in my life for the longest time.

The last six months have been about reconciling this newer, more complete sense of myself with the person I'd so painstakingly created. That although I am who I am, I also had to deal with the fact that I wasn't who I thought I was.

Tonight I'm meeting up with the two people, who in my head at least, are most tied up in the accident. One of them made the mistake of following me across a road, the other made the mistake of picking up the phone twelve hours later. Between them they bookend the events of that day.

Whether they like it, or in fact remember it, or not they were there at the very start of this chapter of my life, it seems only right that they're there for the end of it. I suspect that my relationship with each of them is going to change dramatically over the coming months, although maybe not.

In fact I can see pretty much every aspect of my life getting some sort of overhaul this year, whether I want it to or not. Not in a bad way, just in a... lets call it a realignment of my situation, priorities and motivations.

Because I've caught up with myself, and I can see where I am. If that rolling mess of neuroses and issues is still me then at least it's under control for now, which means I can start to get on with my life. I can take advantage of my current round of forward momentum and see where it gets me.

Or to put it another way: what's next?