The newbie allowance

I was driving around in a rented car today. I’ve done this few times before in different places and the one learning that stays consistent across is that it takes a day’s worth of driving to get used to a place’s road rules and quirks.

So, as was customary on a 1st day, I paused as I was getting into a freeway unsure as to which direction the GPS was pointing to. In that moment when I slowed down, I could see the driver in the car behind me raise her hands up in frustration mentally asking me to get on with it. A similar gesture happened as I was wondering whether I could take a U turn elsewhere and looking for a sign – only this time the driver behind honked loud and hard to ensure I got the message.

In both these cases, I thought – “Jesus guys, give me a break. I’m still trying to figure it out. How about considering that I might be here on my first day? Where’s my newbie allowance?”

That’s when I was reminded of the fact that I have probably not been considerate myself when faced with such situations. Whether it’s a sarcastic thought, comment if action at some frustration at some unknown person, I’m sure I’ve been inconsiderate to someone in their first day or attempt. I guess we all get caught up in our lives so much that we forget these things. And I guess that’s the beauty of such experiences that have you start all over again. You learn what it is to be a well intentioned but probably error prone newbie. You learn to empathize and make promises that you’ll remember to be balanced in your reactions next time.

That’s at least what I’m promising to myself. I’m sure I’ll struggle with this as I’m a fairly impatient person by nature but life is more about the balancing than being balanced. And now that I’ve written about it here, I intend to work hard on the balancing.