I was alarmed and a bit irritated.
“Do you know why I stopped you, ma’am?” the officer prompted.
“No,” my response was clipped, but I honestly had no clue.
“What’s going on, Cece?” said a voice from overhead. I was driving home while engaged in a hands-free conversation with my mother. Her voice boomed through the speakers in the truck. “Just a sec, Ma,” I said turning the volume down, redirecting my attention to the guy standing less than a foot from my vehicle wielding a badge, and a loaded gun that rested at his side.
“You made an illegal turn at the light just there,” he motioned with his head.
“I did?” I began. “But… I didn’t −”
“License and registration, please.”
He made it clear that talking was not an option, and from his demeanor I knew a ticket was imminent.
I traveled that road many-many times before, and have never seen a sign.
Recently there has been a lot of construction in the area resulting in road closures and detours. So, there… may… actually… be… a new sign there.
As I explained the situation to my mom her immediate reaction was, “just don’t turn on that road anymore.” Her voice had a slight edge and dripped with finality. I remember the tone well; it’s the same one that was used on me as a child when she felt something did not warrant further discussion.
At first, I laughed – it was a sad one, sort of half-hearted – but I laughed. I felt it in the pit of my stomach and it escaped through my slightly parted lips. The thought of avoiding a road only because I had incurred a traffic violation seemed ludicrous. It was, however, a typical Mom response: avoid confrontation at all cost, even if it means you have to inconvenience your life.
When the policeman returned with the citation, he offered a perfunctory smile. I drove away.
That night as I explained it all to my better half, I could not shake Mom’s words or my response.
We attributed the ticket up to my own shortsightedness (at least that’s what I’m telling myself so I can put this behind me). I shouldn’t have taken the road for granted. I may have known the area, but because of all the construction, I should have paid more attention.
I couldn’t help but wonder if there were other areas of my life where I am “missing the signs” because I’ve taken things for granted or I have consciously chosen to ignore them because I fear a certain outcome? The whole notion of conscious invisibility deludes us into thinking and seeing only what we want to think and see.
Am I the only one?
It could manifest in different ways, some would call it denial or avoidance others would say that it’s being human. We avoid the hard stuff. Most people choose not to face truth and conscious invisibility provides a sense of peace, the illusion of control, and the comfort of convenience.
Now that I am choosing to be aware, I’m going to give it a go and see where it takes me. I’ll be working through some hard truths. Notice I said some. I’m willing but am far from perfect, I’m pretty sure there are some things I will continue to unsee for right now.
What about you? Are there certain truths in your life that you’ve chosen to ignore? Will you face them? Or continue to unsee them?