Gray Area

The space between two decisions.

A foggy inhibition.

Waiting at the crossroads awhile to see the paths ahead more clearly…


I found myself in a literal fog this past weekend driving out from the Bay Area up to the foothills of the Sierra Nevadas to visit Nevada City, one of my most favorite small towns in California.

I looked ahead on the highway and saw it lingering on the horizon. Unused to driving in the fog, it struck a sudden fear in me. I felt my stomach tighten as I slowed down to 60 to creep into it.

The fog is almost dizzying. When you look off in the distance, all is a blur and your eyes see no direction. The only way to see where you’re going, really, is to trust the car ahead, or to keep your eyes glued to the white lines on the road lest you slip past them into the abyss.

Needless to say, I was more than a little uncomfortable there. The fog seemed interminable, lasting for miles and miles across the Sacramento Valley. Suffocating my senses, the only thing to do was to slow down and drive patiently until it dissipated.

It wasn’t long ago, I made a decision that was far more black and white — to move myself back to California, likely for the very last time, after traveling and living in so many other different places. It took me awhile to make that decision though. To sort my way through the gray area. To know what I truly wanted and needed. And so far, the decision has proved right and good.

But what to do when that gray area is a person? A feeling about someone you’re still sorting out. If you went one way without seeing clearly just yet, you may regret it — and the other way, regret it just the same.

Some things, I’m learning, you can’t know fully right away.

You just have to wait, and move carefully through, until the fog clears.   

Drivers in fog   by Nic Franklin-Woolley (Creative Commons)

Drivers in fog by Nic Franklin-Woolley (Creative Commons)