A severe snow fall, a bus, and a thought: how can we be completely independent if we rely so much on our relationships with others?
Getting home for me is a task of epic proportions. Generally. A car ride takes 20-30 minutes. The express bus takes about the same. A regular bus, takes over an hour to get from my place to the heart of Halifax. And if the link (express bus) is late, it throws my travel into an annoying experience. So, recently, we had one of our typical East Coast snow days. 5-10cm of snow. And the link was late. Sitting there, in a bus with other commuters, I got to wondering. As we chugged along the roads and highway, I realized as independent as I am, without my own transportation, I am subject to the intersection of the world and all if its myriad possibilities. And like a relationship of personal interactions, they can affect us in countless ways.
I played a scene in my head, of a conversation. (Prayer really). It went something like this:
Please, just take me home. I do not want to be here. How is it that you seem as nervous as we are? I am not feeling confident with you. I will give you the benefit of the doubt. Just please, take care of me.
In life, we have to allow some loss of power, some sense of control that we put our lives in the hands of others. We have to deal with being protected, transported, educated, befriended, trained, and catered to. We have to allow people, institutions to connect with us. The bus driver, became the most important person (man) in my life for those forty odd minutes, as I was defenseless in allowing him to get me safely from work to home. And often, I dislike having to let go of control over my own person. We are all taught this lesson growing up. We want to be safe, secure, respected, and in kind, demand to be able to trust, respect and feel safe in the hands of those we have to allow some level of control over us.
In relationships, we have much more power. I cannot choose the bus driver, but I choose the romantic or sexual partners I have. I can little influence the servers at Tim Hortons who I order with, while I can select the most engaging people to be friends with. Sometimes the companies you do business with are few and far between. Only you can control the amount of people whom you share your aspects of life with.
Sometimes, we take on a passive role. We can rely heavily on a lifemate to help us, keep us safe, love us. The idea of equality may fall short at times. The world is not designed for us to ‘take turns’. Other times, we become the one that has to support, keep safe and take care of, our other halves.
The suspicion with the credentials of the bus driver, and his ability to traverse the snow slopped streets, is not really far from even my ease with Mr. Str8. An experienced driver sure. But in comparing my own driving style, he is just as crazy.
Being alive means having relationships with those we choose, as well as those we do not directly have a say in. We have to reaffirm with ourselves the type of person we want to be in any of these scenarios and have a wide space to accept those we have to connect with. Relationships are often hard, but vastly rewarding and fulfilling if you just sit back, let someone else do the driving, and be confident that your best interest, is their best intention.