My coworker Daniel suggested I join him for summer school. “That way you can knock out 2 courses at once. American Government is a good one to get out of the way.”
Daniel and I both worked 6 am to 2pm. "Study from 2:30 to 5:30. It works out well. I did it last year. We could carpool. Wouldn’t that be fun?”
The mid-term was hell. The Government teacher – he reminded us he wasn’t a professor – wanted the discussion questions exactly as he programmed us to write them. If we forgot some of his wording, he counted off. I was one of the few who even made a C.
Daniel took his test last night, so he wasn’t there. The 25 minute drive seemed like an hour. I drove through a heavy fog. At 10:15, it was already pitch dark, even in July. I almost didn’t know where I was, but I had been on that road for years, and already 16 times in the last few weeks. I wondered what it was like to be in a fog back in the days of horses and carriages. It would seem like an eternity... As I was inching at 30 mph, it would have been a flash to a horse carriage.
I was a little nervous, but drove through it. “I can see clearly now…” I sang.
Then it hit me. If it were daytime, I would have been able to see the fog, like a cloud on the horizon in my rear view window. I would see what was behind me. I realized this was a great metaphor. In life, when we go through those foggy patches - like the one I was currently in the middle of - and seem lost, sooner or later we get out of the fog. Once we’re out of the fog, we can look behind what was before the fog and piece it all together. Unless the fog lifts suddenly, we will never see what was inside.
I was so excited about my metaphor, I told Daniel the next day at work. “Cool metaphor. Are you going to write a poem about it?” I didn’t do anything with it, except that I kept it in my back pocket, for anytime I needed a cool metaphor – or the next time I was in fog with someone.
Now, looking back 34 years later, I see it so clearly. I had to go through that time in my life of not knowing, and continue through the fog, until eventually it was behind me. It wasn’t important what happened during that fog. I gained something. If anything, I can spout of facts of 2/3 majority, vetoes and filibusters. I definitely learned a lot in PSYC101. Honestly, I don’t remember what happened after that. Eventually, I found my way, and I was stronger because of it.
The best part of it all is now, when I am in a fog in my life, I know it’s only temporary, and inch my way through and it will all be clear. Now, I will be more observant of what’s going on and where I go once the fog is lifted. I know I will be able to piece things together a lot better than my younger self.