I'm out for one of my usual lunch time walks and it's meant to be a nice relaxing break from the office, but it has instead turned into an exercise in frustration.
They're out in force today... probably something to do with the unseasonably pleasant March weather (I wrote this before our unseasonably warm March weather turned to snow and misery).
When I walk I tend to walk in a straight line. I would have thought that most people are the same.
But they're not.
Some people like to meander left and right. Also, this meandering seems to be triggered by my attempts to overtake them.
I'll be walking behind someone, ready to go around them and suddenly they veer to the right. So I bank left, but they've anticipated it obliviously and swayed back in the other direction.
It genuinely feels like everyone walking in front of me is actively trying to stop me from overtaking them.
Having said that, there are worse offenders.
Some people like to simply stop in the middle of the footpath. Right in the middle. They don't move off to the side out of courtesy, they just stop.
Sometimes these people have equally terrible friends and sometimes they like to gather together in the middle of the path, making life awkward for everybody else around them.
Other people stand waiting at bus stops in such a way that they couldn't create more of an obstruction if they actually tried. Others blindly step off the bus onto a path with no interest in whether or not they are about to step out in front of an oncoming walker.
In my frustration I blinded myself to the fact that I understand why this frustrates me so much. I understand it... But it still pisses me off.
What does it all mean
There are a couple of issues here, both of which are on me. These wiggly walkers obviously aren't bad people, they're just not me and don't view life the way I do.
When I go out at lunch I'm trying to get 3km in twenty five minutes. It's a quick burst of light exercise not a casual stroll. Pretty much everyone else that is out on the city streets is far less focused than me at this time. They haven't placed the same constraints on themselves, they don’t have a specific walking goal. The problem is mine, not theirs.
The second issue here is the fact that I’m the lead character in the movie of my life, therefore everything centers around me.
This makes sense because I can only really see things from my own perspective, just like we only see things from the protagonists perspective in a movie.
This means everyone in my way while out walking is an antagonist. My goal, as the protagonist, is to get from A to B as quickly as possible. They are slowing me down. Conflict - the bedrock of any character driven story.
This dynamic shifts, however, when I'm in some sort of collaborative environment. When it's no longer my goal but a team goal. Like an episode of the Simpsons. Who is the protagonist? It could be any of them, depending on the episode.
The point is that my relationship to those around me shifts pretty drastically depending on the situation and this has an impact on how I feel about them. When focused on a singular goal, anyone that interferes is the enemy, regardless of whether their interference is intentional (which it generally never is).
Basically I need to just stop being a dick about it all and sort out my own shit before I get annoyed at others*.
*That’s not to say that these fuckers aren’t annoying, just that it shouldn’t bother me as much as it does