Advice for a young Lyft driver

A Nissan cuts us off.

“C’mon you’re better than that, man!” the Lyft driver shouts. His tone is friendly, like a coach urging you on after a busted play.

I show him a short cut to Laurel. He explains his philosophy: ask everyone to do just a little better.

He likes the short cut. “Pretty scenery, no traffic.”

Near Mulholland, he asks what I do for a living. After the usual follow ups, he asks if I’m happy.

“Yes. Most days. And on the worst days I can’t imagine doing something else.”

Here’s his dilemma: he’s a teacher’s aid for developmentally disabled children. He likes his job, but he doesn’t know if that’s what he wants to do forever. He’s 22.

“Two cents from a guy pushing 40?”

“Please!”

“You can’t predict the future,” I say. “Most of my friends have reinvented their careers at least once.”

“But they figured it out?”

“No. Not all of them. Some people need two or three things before they figure it out, and some people are still figuring it out.”

“Oh my god, that’s what’s totally freaking me out. What do you do about it?”

“Nothing. I mean, you try and find a job you like and you just keep checking in with yourself to make sure you’re not becoming a miserable asshole. But basically you live your life and you learn to get comfortable knowing that most things are beyond your control.”

“Wow, I’d love to be able to get to that place with everything I worry about.”

“Me too.”

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