As we near the end of November, it has been ten weeks since I left the comfort and predictability of a full time job. While I’ve set myself up with enough freelance work to cover my costs (an incredible feat in and of itself), my journey to stability is still far from over; however, I’ve been given the time and space to learn to appreciate living in the present moment instead of worrying about the uncertainty of the future. In the midst of all of this crazy (and oftentimes lonely and isolated) hustle in the wild world of freelancing, I cherish moments to connect with others and get out of the bubble that is my home office, out into the real world. It is with these intentions that I recently attended Fireside Yoga, an evening yoga class set in a lodge perked atop Seymour mountain which boasted cozy cabin vibes, a good stretch, and some quality hang time with some equally quality people. However, the most memorable portion of the evening was not the destination, but the drive.
I picked up two friends for our carpool across the Lion’s Gate Bridge towards Seymour Mountain and off we went, catching up and chatting while we navigated our way into North Vancouver. Up until this point, the weather had been unremarkable. As is customary in Vancouver, we were dealing with what was at most a light drizzle of rain dusting the windshield. The sun had set long ago and the moon was but a mere sliver tucked away behind cloud coverage, leaving us to our dark drive up the side of a mountain leaving the comforting pulse, pulse, pulse of light from street lamps far below. As we ascended into total darkness, I flipped up my high beams to give us better views into the woods which enveloped the sides of the road, eyes peeled for a possible scurry of wildlife.
Then, seemingly out of nowhere, came the fog. At first it was in small bursts, as I flicked my high beams on and off, in and out of bursts of these low visibility clouds of mist. After a few of these cycles, it became clear that there would be no more patches of clear road—I was enveloped. Fog as thick as smoke hugged the car on all sides, leaving the vaguest, translucent hint of the dashed white line separating the two lanes of the road visible. Honing my senses, I trained my eyes on this hint of contrast on the road’s face as I slowed the car, carefully crawling my way up this now treacherous path into grayness. I was at once aware of the irony inherent in appreciating my peripheral vision only when it was so quickly stolen from me—by now, I could barely see the road directly in front of my car. The path was windy and I began crawling at a snail’s pace; however, I was still petrified of missing a turn and slowly drifting off the invisible road. So many questions ran through my head: what if another car comes? What if I drift off the road? What if a animal were to run in front of my car now? Would I even see it? Somehow, the fog continued to thicken until it seemed like I was driving underwater, submerged in a mixture of heavy cream diluted with water from pure white to a thick, murky grey.
Every once in a while, my trusty white lane divider would abruptly wink out of view as I approached curves at a literal crawl, the eye-level signs warning me of the impending curve tucked away behind curtains of pearly mist. I was at once aware of a deep silence, only recognizing the chatter which had so recently surrounded me when confronted with its stark absence. Everyone in the car trained their attention on the curtain of grey looming ominously ahead of us. A moisture began to fall again from the skies, a wetness stuck transforming between rain and snow, prompting me to turn on the windshield wipers again and further obstructing my compromised vision. With each metronomic swish, swish, swish, the blackness of the wiper blades travelled back and forth across the windshield and my narrow field of focus, systematically chopping my white-lined companion in half over and over again. In that moment, I was immensely grateful to be the only car on the road. I had such a deep appreciation for the ability to take as much time as I wanted to make sure that we were making this treacherous journey as safely as possible. I felt so silly, wishing for something which I had always taken for granted—a view of the road ahead of me.
After what felt like a lifetime of the most focused driving of my life, the bland, grey blanket of fog began to transform. Slowly, it gained a bright, twinkling quality, eventually transforming into a white wall. The blurry aura of white lights came into view as we turned a corner, signaling the cabin off vaguely to our right—we had arrived. Sure enough, we began to see a parking lot emerge, the passengers of other cars journeying towards the cabin with the unmistakable shadowy backslash of yoga mats strapped to their back.
As we parked, I took a deep breath and closed my eyes, stealing a moment to appreciate that I had gotten us there safely. I couldn’t help but feel the weight of this drive as a symbol of my journey out of full time work and into something new. I don’t know the road ahead of me. I don’t know what the end of the road looks like, or when I’ll reach it. There have been many unforeseen obstacles, forcing me to trust that as long as I keep moving forward and focus on taking it step by step, I’ll eventually land somewhere. In the process so far, I’ve discovered the hidden strength inherent in carefully training my attention on the white guideline of my intuition, trusting that when it curves I choose follow it off my pre-determined course.
That’s all you can do. There’s so much danger present in concentrating too strongly on fears of the future, in becoming too stubbornly focused on one particular hypothetical endgame that you miss the hints of an impending curve set to take you where you actually need to go. Dedicate time to your journey. Listen to your intuition and just keep moving forward; even if it feels like a snail’s pace, progress is progress. As long as you listen to your intuition and remain open to your plan for the future evolving, you’ll find your way through the fog.