I almost got run over last week. I’d just completed my dissertation (cue delirious relief). Walking back from dropping the mammoth tome off on campus, severely sleep deprived and mildly euphoric (ahem…caffeine induced), I ignored the pedestrian crossing and stepped into the path of a speeding bicycle which missed me with nanomillimeters to spare. I think the cyclist got more of a fright than I did.
Some people in my life might consider it comeuppance – but I consider it luck. After all, it could have been a Rover instead of a Raleigh. But it did leave me thinking…am I one of those people destined to end up on the wrong side of the road or am I a pavement pioneer?
I’ve had almost 2 years to realise I’m not one for convention. It’s a hard lesson because I’ve spent a lot of time trying to conform to some unrealistic societal ideals … true love conquers all, you’ll need a pension when you’re old, don’t eat anything past its sell-by date…You get the picture. I’ve come to realise the bit of the road I’ve chosen for myself is often winding, sometimes steep and nearly always going in a direction I don’t expect. And that’s on a good day!
I’ve had travelling companions, and I’ve spent great stretches walking it alone. Sometimes I’ve carried a heavy burden. At others, I’ve skipped lightly across the paving stones hand in hand with happiness. New routes always lie ahead. Binding oneself to can’ts and shoulds, and what ifs and what’s expected may help you hang with the crowd on the sidewalk, but it isn’t going to give you a great view of the world. This I now know…if I have a choice between the direct road and the scenic route? Well…I prefer my walks on the wild side!