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  • Riane Capalad

3 Life Long Things our Uber Driver Heard While Eavesdropping on Us

What happens inside an Uber ride doesn't stay inside an Uber ride. Only in Vegas!

Photo by Riane Capalad
Red light teaches patience.
Yellow light encourages you to get ready.
Green light is a sign of moving forward.

“He canceled,” Ryan says.


Expect the holiday travel season to be busy. And even if you fly a week ahead of the biggest crowds, prepare for traffic, long security lines, and/or flight delays. I gaze at the clock plastered on the microwave, calculating the time we need to catch our flight to Las Vegas. It was obviously raining and freezing. Hoping this weather doesn’t cause a scene. Lyft was a cheaper choice until it bailed on us. What a bummer. There’s a slight annoyance whenever a driver cancels out of nowhere.


I slid my lukewarm hands inside my pocket to grab my phone to seek other options. And after waiting 15 long minutes for a Lyft that never came, the three of us: Ryan, his girlfriend (Micah), and I, decided to book an Uber. Adding 10 more bucks is harmless when you're losing alternatives...No time to be indecisive.

“4 minutes away!” I say. In this story, I’ll name our Uber Driver, Reg.


The latest gray Honda H-RV accessed our driveway. Fancy, I thought to myself. I remember the first time an Uber driver picked me up with a Tesla, and I had never been so dumb as to open a car door in my entire life. I stood for a minute, trying to find an imaginary opening hinged on its edge, just to be greeted with a grin from my bougie Uber driver. So here's a friendly reminder from Tesla, use your thumb to push the door handle out, and it will pivot toward you.


I used to think my life was like a film wherein I was the producer, director, and actor at the same time. After all, we do have FULL responsibility for mapping out our reality. Now, I will share some epiphanies from my fun, crazy, and spontaneous life experiences.


(This is only based on my experiences, take what you like and life what you don't. At the end of the day, you get to design your life and learn your own lessons.)


3 Life Long Things in an Uber ride.

Thing 1: Reading a book feels like a holiday when you’re reading books you ACTUALLY enjoy.

It only took me a minute to suddenly turn silence into a full-blown conversation. I love to listen, and I do it for free. At least for me. Whether with a stranger or someone I know, I always catch my talkative mouth having meaningful discourse, yearning to find common ground. I travel for the experience of the now…and food.


“You should read Ikigai. The Japanese secret to a Long and Happy Life,” Micah gleefully shows her bountiful list of books on her tablet while we’re stuck in traffic. To be honest, I wasn’t a big reader. It’s just how I was brought up in this waking world. For years, I forced myself to finish a novel only to realize I wasn’t reading the books I liked, only those I thought would sound cool. Pa the tic.

Now, I’m calling myself a reader because I’m starting to finish books in two days, and that’s because I’m actually absorbing stories that I relish and bring me joy. Even if it was a children’s book like Pooh Bear. Currently reading 'Reminders of Him by Colleen Hoover.'


If you ever think reading is not for you, think again, maybe you just need to find the right one...


Thing 2: Rushing won’t save you time… on the road or in life.


I used to rush myself because I got pressured when everyone was moving but me, and I needed answers. However, where’s the fun when you already have it laid out? In this ride, I learned that it’s not really about the destination, the final phase, or the grand surprise. Sometimes I even question, Is there a final phase, and if so, when does it ever end?

And because this is an Uber journey to our destination (the airport), I wonder why a stop light matters.


Red light teaches patience.

Yellow light encourages you to get ready.

Green light is a sign of moving forward.


Just think about life like driving: the brake, steering wheel, gear stick, and the road are your center of attention when driving. You navigate with the presence of your mind. You can’t rush, or you’ll over speed and potentially cause an accident or get pulled over. But, if you focus on the road with the proper understanding of road rules, self-discipline, and alertness. You’ll get there no matter what. Take all the time you need, not to be lazy but to be present with the process and the journey. Great things take TIME. Chant that, and be kind to yourself!


Thing 3: When you know the destination, reroute when the first path doesn’t work.


Reg took another exit with the least amount of delay. Sitting in the passenger side, Ryan knew it was a good idea, so I went along. The driver seems to have a keen sense of direction. His patience and smooth handling felt more like a festive road trip than a stressful one.


This third lesson will go a long way in life. Success is anything we define, and it’s endless because each time we reach a goal, we start planning for the next big thing. Hence, It could be graduating college, buying your first dream house, or simply just checking off that bucket list you wrote when you were 15. Sky diving? Watch Ed Sheeran live? Eat the biggest taco ever existed?


Knowing the destination or what you want to achieve is always the first step, and once you know what you want to accomplish, you can be creative with the process. When the first try doesn’t work out, it doesn’t mean it won’t work! You just have to tweak, move in a new direction, consider a new perspective, and try again. It might take years, but once it happens, it all happens once!


And to quote James Clear in his book Atomic Habits, “the most powerful outcomes are delayed."


 

By the time we reached the airport entrance, we were locking up the conversation in convincing Ryan to read the 'Rich Dad Poor Dad' by Robert Kiyosaki and Sharon Lechter. The book he had years from now but never even once opened.


“Just read it for me and summarize it,” he smirks.

“I actually read it,” Our driver says, looking at me from the rearview mirror. We paused for a good 10 seconds movie-like scene and realized that he had been actively listening to our conversations. Reg spent 5 minutes explaining to us the highlights of the book. I won’t expound further. Seemingly, it's about a young man’s journey of learning financial knowledge while comparing his poor dad’s money views to his wealthy friend’s dad.

I smiled at him because he seemed to enjoy eavesdropping on our discourses about reading books, interjecting himself into our playful debate. Then, finally, he parks the car at terminal B.


“You should’ve said something earlier!” I smile, and he sends it back.


“Have fun in Vegas. The three of you!”


“Don’t worry, I don’t gamble, only in life” Ryan shuts the door and waves to Reg.


“Well life IS a gamble my friend,” Reg winks.

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