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Jo’s Diary: The healing powers of power

11 months ago

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Joana Fidalgo | Engineer


3 August 2023

Dear reader, I have a confession. I feel I need to come clean and tell you a slightly uncomfortable, and frankly embarrassing, story. You see, maybe you have assumed all automotive journos are daredevils. After all, aren’t we all thrill-seekers, living for that moment when we finally push shrieking tyres past the edge of adhesion? Maybe, maybe not; but what happens when one of us finally meets their automotive nemesis and starts questioning it all?

I need to start with some context. Many years ago, I received a curse – an unwelcome gift from a stranger-danger event I had the misfortune to experience when I was much younger. What happened was entirely beyond my control and, as a result, has led me to become very anxious about things that are seemingly innocuous (or even riveting) to others.

Over the years, I’ve found my own ways of dealing with some of those feelings, but one of the lingering effects is that my mind tends to overestimate and overreact to perceived threats; or hypervigilance, as the doctor would call it. In automotive terms, think of my brain as being equivalent to the adaptive cruise in an old L322 Range Rover, emergency braking at the first sign of trouble, even if that trouble is half a mile away, travelling the other way and turns out not to be any trouble at all.

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