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.3 minutes away. - unfinished

Published on 17th December 2019

I sat at the stoplight, awaiting the green arrow that would invite me to turn a safe left. Behind my left ear, I heard a train approach. The arrow ahead of me remains red, and the cars to my right slowly pull forward, beckoned by the green light ahead of them. 

Google Maps tells me I'm 3 minutes away from my destination. 

After 90 seconds or so, the green light to my right-hand side shifts to yellow, and then to red. Another direction of cars commences movement; around me cars flow in elegant and orchestrated rhythm. Soon, we've reached the end of the four-way cycle, and I anticipate it to be my turn. But my arrow ahead remains red. 

I'm growing impatient. 

Google Maps tells me I'm 3 minutes away from my destination. 

A train horn sounds; ahead of me a train image in lights illuminates, and before I've finished cognitively processing the intake through my senses, the train to my left lurches forward. 

My arrow ahead of me remains red. 

Google Maps tells me I'm 3 minutes away from my destination. 

The cars to my right once again pull forward, their invitational green light has returned, beckoning them closer to their destination. 

Google Maps tells me I'm 3 minutes away from my destination. 

Being this close to my destination, traffic isn't fluctuating much. From this specific geographic location, I am consistently 3 minutes away from my destination. Google Maps is estimating traffic patterns and physical distance; the algorithm isn't calculating how long it will take me to turn left and begin making steps forward on my 3-minute pathway. 

It is entirely possible that I could sit at this light awaiting the green arrow of safety for ten minutes or more, and always be 3 minutes away from my destination. 

I had a conversation with a friend this morning about taking small steps towards big dreams. We can identify with something for so long, that we find it difficult to imagine being any different than this. Yet, depending on the dream, it could be closer than we think. In a mere year or two or three, an entire degree could be earned, and a career change could be made. In 9 months a couple could welcome a new member of the family, or longer, depending on the process (adoption, birth, fostering, fertility treatments). In 42 weeks I went from no improv skills to graduating improv comedy classes. 

Yet, like I found myself at the light, we can stay in the dreaming phase of not yet turning left for months, years, or decades. 

What are you a mere 3 minutes, 3 days, 3 months, or 3 years away from? What are you waiting to turn left towards? What green light do you require in order to take the first step?