Driving back to sanity

Overwhelmed with my week’s obstacles, I learned that driving with no particular destination can save me from mental suffocation.


Between homework, work, friends, sports, clubs, family and everything else that fills our life, the time to breathe interrupts the chaos only briefly. Sometimes days go by in a snap, and other times, they bulge with endless negativity and progress slower than ever. And it never seems to be just one thing – it’s something piled on top of another, which is balanced on something else and thrown on yet one more, until the stack reaches its tipping point and crumbles.

Last week, I had a couple of those days, and a minor mental breakdown crashed into my schedule.

I’ve always been annoyed with how suddenly my perceptions of good and bad events can reverse. There were points last week when I felt like nothing would improve, but with a quick trick, I was freed from the trapped mindset.

I took a couple hours and drove out to 200-and-something-th street, windows down, enjoying the gorgeous fall weather we have all been waiting for. Unique white clouds decorated the pure blue sky, and my favorite songs flowed through my head so mellifluously. I couldn’t help but smile at the beauty.

I forgot about all my troubles for a bit, and let bliss settle in my skin. Sitting at a park I attempted to read Catch-22 for class, but as you can guess, that lasted a solid two sentences. Homework could wait. I closed my eyes and listened to all the natural sounds, replacing the hum of negative thoughts. It’s odd how swiftly something can elevate your mood.

As I headed back to 135th street and all the responsibilities surrounding it, relief lifted my shoulders. I still have a million things to do, have plenty of issues to deal with and push through, but the drive made me realize how small my problems and I are. There’s a whole world out there – I should enjoy its beauty, not ruminate on the negatives dotting my day. And if it comes down to it, endless roads can provide a temporary escape from reality.