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Hell has frozen over, pigs can fly and after nearly 21 years of passenger-seat riding terror, I have finally, finally, FINALLY acquired my driver’s license. In the midst of jarring celebrity deaths, jarring political news and jarring heat records, I have finally joined the billions of people who regularly occupy driver seats (although most don’t feel the need to dedicate whole columns to the experience) and I am shocked to see how similar driving in Hattiesburg is to beginning a new year – particularly, the year 2017.

1. Everyone but you knows what they’re doing.

It amazes me to no end to see so many people continue onward like nothing is wrong, like they understand the rules of this new world we’ve been thrust into or like they know at all what they’re doing. From this perspective, it’s quite frightening. In the same way, I watch Hattiesburg drivers occupy the streets like they, and they alone, know what they’re doing – just as, if not more, frightening.

2. Anything can – and will – happen

The only thing you can be totally certain of is that you can’t be certain of anything. This is true of 2017, driving in Hattiesburg and being on Tinder.

3. Sometimes, you’re the grandma.

At times, you’ll find yourself shaking your fist and cursing the youngins in the road whilst charging along at snail speed. In 2017, you’ll find yourself shaking your fist and cursing the politicians on your television set whilst charging along on a meaningless quest to find the light at the end of the 2016 tunnel before realizing it’s just a 2017 train.

4. You can only account for what’s immediately in front of you.

At night in Hattiesburg, it can be difficult to see much further than where your headlights end. In the same way, I can’t see too far ahead of me this year, and I imagine many of you can’t either.

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