Maybe for the trip home, I'll teach mum how to use my camera phone...photography skills in exchange for driving skills sounds like an awesome exchange to me!
I jumped in the driver’s seat just outside Moree. The night before had been another one of my emotional roller-coasters, induced by the emotional exhaustion I was feeling from finally escaping the overwhelming changes I’ve been going through in the last 3 months.
Mum and I stuck the L plates to the car, jamming one under the rear number plate and squashing it into the bumper groove tightly enough so that it wouldn't fly off at some point on the highway, and piss off the cars behind me because they have no idea why I’m only doing 80kms on straight flat roads that clearly state 110kmph.
I indicated and took to the road, immediately empowered by my confidence. The absence of fear and second-guessing was obvious. So obvious, I couldn’t wipe the self-satisfied smirk off my face for hours.
It wasn’t smugness though, like the kind of satisfaction I used to feel when I achieved something I had constantly told myself was impossible - getting a hole-in-two on my first ever game of mini golf for instance.
What I was experiencing was what I like to call a mild sense of Zen. I felt nothing other than calm excitement about this new achievement, knowing that I was capable without having to convince myself and knowing that I was safe, that what was happening was significant but inevitable.
I drove north over the NSW border into Queensland, not shaken by the abysmal road manners I received from a truck driver right up my ass, or from the sudden buckets of rain trying to wash us out as we drove through Toowoomba in peak hour traffic, unsure of where the hell I was going.
I didn’t freak out when I nearly got run off the road at Lake Clarendon, when we lost our spot on the map around Coominya, or when the fog thickened and I had to slow down to 30km an hour to take the impossibly sharp corners of a slimy wet road on Mt Glorious.
With the Wolf Cub cheering me on the whole way from the womb - an elbow nudge here, a knee adjustment there - I knew I was going somewhere awesome, in that car AND in this life. Fuck, I thought, I forgot that life was this good!
So many times I felt the moments that would usually have me spiralling into negative reinforcement, just slip by. I kept on driving, loving the journey, not caring if it never ended (which of course, it never does).
The landscape rambled on; flat plains stretching as far as the eye could see and cotton fields I never knew existed. I ceased the opportunity to get behind the wheel, and while I was there I discovered an entirely new dimension to road tripping.
I saw the world around me with a renewed sense of direction and I felt the affirmation ring true to my soul:
I am no longer a passenger in life. I am in control: I take myself wherever it is I need to go, whenever I need to go there. The possibilities are endless; the opportunities are everywhere. Not a single day can pass me by without something being gained, something being discovered or something being learnt.
Life is just too incredible for words right now.