My best self took a vacation

Dear President Trump,

Yesterday I had an experience with cars and drivers flouting rules that had me nearly in tears before I even got to the freeway entrance. I’m not sure whether I’ve explained the beginning of my commute to you, but I live four blocks from a small freeway entrance and in the olden days (two years ago), it took three to five minutes to get onto the freeway. Now it routinely takes over 15 minutes because the traffic volumes have swelled and there was a major lane redo that created more bottlenecks. It’s a mess.

So what happened is that the light was green but there were too many cars on the other side of the intersection to go through when someone swooped in from my right and cut in front of me to get in the freeway-bound lane. This happens fairly frequently and I was prepared to let it go. I decided to move in behind them because I knew the traffic would clear before the light changed and I wouldn’t be stuck in the intersection. However, a second driver came up on my right and tried to cut me off as I was making my way through the intersection and this time, I didn’t yield. She persisted, but at this point there was no way for me to let her in unless I backed up into the intersection, which I patently was not going to do, so she stayed blocking the right lane until she could pull in behind me. For the next three blocks she stayed glued to my bumper, even flouting the elaborate turn-taking dance we all do to make sure the West and East bound traffic can both funnel into the freeway onramp.

I was pissed. And yes, it occurred to me she might be traveling with the car that first cut me off, but I still allowed two cars to go ahead of me to make up for her not doing the correct turn-taking. And I felt like shit that I was so angry and frustrated. I was torn between wanting to be nice and forgiving and not wanting to be walked on. I still don’t know how I want to respond to such situations when they happen again, but it’s clearly a thing I have to find a way to make some peace around as I ended up holding way too many very hot (anger) coals that just hurt me.

May we find ways to keep our best selves safe.
May we be willing to deal with frustrating situations with grace.
May we find a healthy balance between giving passes and standing up for ourselves.
May we all make peace with our base instincts so we manage them adequately.

Tracy Simpson

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