It doesn’t matter if I’m on foot doing my 5k, or driving in the city. People around me are definitely not thinking about what they’re doing. In a busy shopping area, they’ll step off a curb, right in front of my moving car. In an intersection, both of us going opposite directions, they’ll suddenly make a turn – no signal at all — and almost hit me. No look-back. No “Sorry!” face. Are people becoming more ambivalent about their options, decisions, and directions these days, or are they just unconscious most of the time?

In fairness, I’ve done stupid stuff when I’m in a mood:  upset; way too hungry or tired; in a state of mental overload. I make a careless decision in traffic; someone honks and shows me their middle finger. You’re right: I should not be behind the wheel today.

What’s tricky is when someone looks right into your eyes and does something squirrely, or even dangerous, anyway. “Yes, I see you, but I’m just not gonna commit to sane action today.” It happens a lot when I’m out and about running errands. But it also happens in my personal world. Much more than it used to. Ambivalence. Hesitance. Last-minute changes. Fear of making a choice, any choice. Dealing with consequences.

I’ll always claim my right to change my mind about a decision I’ve made. Even costly ones that are hard to walk-back. But I really try – overthinking most things to death — to avoid a do-over.  And when my choices are going to impact someone that I care about ? I’m even more cautious.

I know that not everyone shares my process, but a person’s sudden change of direction still catches me off guard. It feels like I understand her/his intentions or motives. They’re looking in my direction, — maybe even into my eyes — but they don’t really “see” me. Like the guy in the monster-truck yesterday ? He made eye contact with me as I walked across a busy street — then drove right into my path.

Are people becoming more ambivalent about their desires, choices, and decisions – in themselves, and in their relationships with others – or are they just unconscious most of the time? When I’m ‘unconscious’ – looking, but not seeing – I can laugh and make excuses for my cluelessness. But if I’m feeling genuinely hesitant or ambivalent about my direction in life, I need to stay off the road – not putting others’ emotional wellbeing in harm’s way — until my focus returns.

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