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Take a Step Back.

Last weekend, I went out to meet a friend and since there was no parking at the mall, I parked my car a short distance away, along a road which had a steep downward slope. There was a huge distance between my car and the cars in front and at the back of me, so my only worry during my time at the mall was whether I had parked in a ‘No Parking’ zone.

After a few hours, walking back to my car, I rounded the corner, hoping to see it still there, and luckily it was! However, my nightmare began when I sat inside and realized that a car was parked barely a foot in front of mine, and there was a scooter less than a foot behind me. Out of habit, I released the handbrake, and obeying the laws of gravity and to my great horror, my car went a few inches ahead, shortening the dreaded foot-long gap.


A quick driving lesson...

In my 13 years of driving, I’ve been caught in plenty of traffic jams on upward slopes – the trick, which my dad had taught me when I was learning, was to put on the handbrake when the traffic is at a standstill, and then as the traffic starts moving, release the handbrake a little and quickly accelerate (making sure you gain enough momentum to push forward, but not so much as to dash the car in front of you) and then again quickly put on the handbrake. The handbrake-accelerate-handbrake is a tricky maneuver, which requires a lot of practice to master.


Anyway, back to the story...

Even with my past experience driving on upward slopes, my current situation was scary! With my heart in my mouth, I called my friend, and he gave me the best advice – “Step out of the car and reassess the distance between your car and the one parked in front of you.” I did just that, and realized just how much fear can make you insane – from inside the car, the distance seemed much smaller than it actually was. Yes, the other car was parked way too close to mine and so was the scooter, but I still had room to move out of there, provided I was really careful.

With a renewed sense of calm, I sat back in my car, and used a method which was the opposite of what I explained before – handbrake-reverse-handbrake, slowly inching my way out of the parking spot. I had never used this method before, which goes to show how powerful a calm mind can be!

Those 10-15 minutes taught me a really valuable lesson – when stressed, take a step back and look at the bigger picture. There may be something you missed, or fear may have taken over your mind – whatever it is, be willing to step back, take a few deep breaths and reassess the situation. More often than not, you will already have the solution to your problem. And if not, there is no harm in asking for help. You got this!


Thank you for reading! Stay blessed!



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