“Behind the Wheel” – Shuttle stories
Vol. 1 – 01/20/2018
"Why I Drive"
by Sheila Cornwell
There really is no simple answer to the question about why I love driving. People really do ask me; and, often when I volunteer that information, they gaze clear through me in disbelief, repeating the statement, “You love driving…”, as if trying to weed through a thick foreign accent to get to the meaning of a sentence. Then, there is me, probably staring back as if I am wondering why they don’t!
Yet, ever since I was very small, the process of operating a vehicle fascinated me—again, I am not exactly sure why, or what triggered this appreciation, as I am not one prone to want to operate most kinds of machines.
To make this thing go, with you in it and mostly in control, at speeds that excel any natural human capability, on some level was a long-awaited thrill. As I became that teenager ready to learn how, the reason became more simplified: freedom. The number one alluring factor on the list of reasons to wanted to drive was freedom. Freedom to explore, test my will, test my bounds, and continually test my skills are just some of the appealing aspects of driving that still push me forward today.
Fast forward to adulthood with fewer limits, more gas money, and a lifetime of endless imagination to thrive--wanderlust. Now add to that mix, curiosity, innate adventure-seeker and a growing desire to see the world, on the ground within the confines of my continent, and you now have Me.
I push on the pedal. I stop when needed. I have windows to show me (and my group) something so much greater than ourselves. I have the power of mobility and lights and maps to show me the way. I have mountains to take me higher, and wheels to bring me down to sea-level, enter the city, exit the suburbs, and traverse the plains. With enough room for storage, I can bring parts of my life with me—children, dog, friends and loved ones; and often, when traveling solo, my favorite toys: bikes, kayak, camping gear and more… More often than not, I also have music playing during the trip to keep me company and entertained.
Those are the obvious benefits of owning and driving a vehicle. What really drives Me to get behind the wheel is something intangible, yet, what I can feel almost immediately as soon as I leave my driveway. While I may often reserve my mental free time until I’ve ‘hit the open road’ (or, the highway), once I’m out…I am OUT!
“Screen time” means something different, and then I’m on my way to a mental exploration while I travel life’s roads. I’m thinking, problem-solving, daydreaming—which, by the way, They say is good for the soul—and sometimes planning my future.
Driving comes naturally to me, always has. I operate the controls and pedals, employ my innate awareness, alongside my analytical mind, all while somehow naturally freeing-up my creative side, too. It truly becomes an Experience for me, like freewriting, or, riding a bicycle.
Yet, I don’t tend to think of it that way while I’m driving. It’s not planned to be work or slated as a multi-tasking project… Focus and freedom wrapped into one activity just happens; and so then, very simply, it seems driving is just fun!