Our car is an automatic, my wife only has an automatic licence, but the courtesy car we have been given while ours is in for repair is a manual. I've not driven a manual car for about 12 years so it's been an experience re-learning, if that's the right word, or maybe reminding myself of the process.

I cant help but feel that, in a sense, it's a metaphor for life.

We get used to particular ways of doing things, adopt patterns of behaviour, and fall into a groove - not necessarily a rut - which serves us on a day-to-day basis.

When change occurs we are forced to do new things, or maybe things that we haven't done in a while, and have to familiarise ourselves with the processes involved.

New car, new house, new job, new people, whatever it is we have to reassess, to find the "new normal" to borrow that horrid term from the current zeitgeist. It can make us nervous, unsure, scared even - feelings that we tend to avoid in our normal routines.

But, maybe this is what we need, maybe that uncertainty is what fuels us, keeps us alive in the metaphorical sense, just as the uncertainty of knowing where the next meal came from forced our ancestors to find solutions which kept them alive, literally.

I am painfully aware that I don't embrace change too well, don't seek it out as often as I should, don't put myself in positions where I need to adapt and learn those new processes. Part of it is my own insecurities, my lack of self-confidence, and fear of the unknown.

the only thing we have to fear is...fear itself — nameless, unreasoning, unjustified terror which paralyzes needed efforts to convert retreat into advance - Franklin D Roosevelt

In the absence of anything genuinely fear-inducing, the small, the petty, the unknown become overinflated, sources of fear of my own design: nameless, unreasoning, unjustified. That fear stops me from taking a leap, but when forced I realise that there wasn't really anything to worry about - just fear itself.

  1. Colin Walker says: #
    Yes, in the UK most people get a full licence which let's you drive both manual and automatic bit some take an automatic test only.

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