While driving around the charming streets of Long Beach California, the second-largest city in Los Angeles County, zen found me in the front seat of my 2015 Toyota Prius. At least that’s how it seems to me. I imagine it is much like what a musician experiences with their instrument of choice after many years of practice and professional playing. It’s like a switch flipped one day and now for the most part I feel like I’m just along for the ride as I flow from one ride to the next.
As an Uber driver, I find myself spending most of my time behind the wheel in the city where I was born. One of the benefits is that I know where all the potholes and unruly bumps are to be found. Most of the time I miss them, but occasionally they do creep up on me when I look away from the road for a moment to check the navigation or a song title. Such is life.
After 12,500 rides I can look back and see that somewhere around 10,000 rides things changed. I would say that I went from being reactive to simply responsive. Things that would have bothered me previously stopped bothering me. At first, I would have described it as though I had simply grown numb to the whole driving experience. It’s more like I quit being surprised by the unexpected behaviors of others around me. Of course, the potholes still bother me because the only time I hit them is when I glance away from the road for a moment. I’m just not so sure I will ever be able to get used to them.