Friday, October 14, 2016

14. Maneuvering in a Tight Spot

Two city blocks past the fountains, the street makes a steep incline. There's a random waste bin on this stretch, so I often I pick up a lot a trash knowing it will be easy to dispose of. There's also a shaded area on the right of my path where people who smoke have their break. Earbuds in, I pass (and smile at) a lot of office workers on this part of the path.

On this particular day, I was making my way up the hill when I noticed this:

A driver was maneuvering his semi on the city street into a loading dock of a local hotel. Cars lined the street on both sides. Forward and backward, forward and backward, he inched his way into the narrow lane.

I stopped walking.

I took my earbuds out.

I watched. And watched. And watched some more. It was a spectacle. I held my breath.

I wasn't the only who stopped to watch.

The driver successfully backed into his spot. I sighed for him.

I noticed an older Asian man was one of fellow spectators. We struck up a conversation as I'd begun to walk away. He explained that he'd served in the military (Army, if I recall) and had driven trucks like that.

How does he do it?” I asked still breathless by the way the driver had negotiated the tight space and multiple parked cars.

Just do the opposite,” the gentleman answered. "Everyone thinks it's hard, but it's not if you just do the opposite of what you think you should do. If you need to go to the right, you turn the wheel to the left."

We exchanged pleasantries and then went our separate ways.

His answer rang in my ear. Just do the opposite. On my walking path, I'd found the next lesson on this journey I am on.

For months, the impulse had been to rush head long into the future. To KNOW what came next. To FORCE something to happen. Those had been frenzied times because I didn't actually want to do that, so without knowing fully what I was doing, I'd stopped. I'd felt my way through and decided to do the opposite. To not rush. To not have all the answers. To rest. To feel the discomfort. To lean into it. To walk instead of run.

As I walked away from the expert parking I had witnessed, I sensed I was walking into something really profound. And now, I didn't need to know what. I simply trusted that walking would help me figure it out.


  1. I'm learning so much from your series and your walks! Much wisdom here.

  2. Really nicely rendered Julie, from a writing perspective. And profound in terms of awareness. I'm inspired by your journey.

  3. I love this - inspiration in the everyday. Thanks for sharing. Maybe I need to do the opposite as well.