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Posted by Philip on 12 April 2016, 9:39 am in , , , ,

Uncertainty in action

Yesterday I was involved in a three- or four-car accident on the north-western motorway. I was on the way to a shoot for a new It's Not OK anti-domestic violence commercial. I didn't make it to the shoot.

As I've been thinking about uncertainty a lot the past few weeks, it felt a bit divine to have such a stark experience of uncertainty meet me me head-on (luckily, not literally). But, in fact, the accident could have been really serious, especially for the young guy who caused it — he walked away unscathed despite his car being totalled after careering across three lanes of traffic twice and ending up plowed into the median barrier facing the wrong way. No one else was injured, including Sam and me.

What is interesting to me is that a 30-second incident changed my entire afternoon. Instead of going to Corban Estate to be filmed for the commercial and then going to a meeting in Te Atatu Peninsula, I ended up sitting on the side of Rosebank Rd for an hour, waiting to give a Police statement, then being escorted home by Police because my left rear break light and indicator were non-existent (that was the most stressful drive I've done, apart from my driving test 30-odd years ago, let me tell you). I then had my meeting via Skype.

Not only did that 30-second event change my day, it changed my future. I have no idea what being in that commercial would have meant, but I was looking forward to showing my support for a cause I believe strongly in, as well as whatever else came out of that. It also means I'll be without a vehicle for weeks and that will impact on other aspects of my personal and professional lives.

But I can only now sit with the belief that being in the commercial wasn't meant to be. I don't know why — maybe I won't like the production style. I could spent a whole lot of energy angsting over it, but the only thing I can do is accept it. And I need to accept that I'll be unable to be independently mobile for some time. Again, I don't know the meaning for this although, interestingly, a few weeks ago I trained Uber drivers for a new service called uberASSIST, which launched today. So, maybe, this means I'll be able to experience the service and give feedback.

The thing with uncertainty, or things changing with no notice or apparent reason, is that it's disruptive. It's uncomfortable, frustrating and it creates a grieving process for the reality you expected, which is replaced by a new, unexpected reality you didn't plan for. Because it's an unplanned process of change, it requires agility, innovation, creativity and the willingness to not know.

The opportunity is possibility. I know that whatever shapes the next few weeks for me, not having a car, will be completely different to what would have happened if I did. And while that's a bit daunting, it's also quite exciting. I'm looking forward to how things unfold.

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