As some of you may have gathered by now, this has been My Year. I’ve been jamming in as many things as I possibly can, some of which I haven’t mentioned in my blog (we all have our secrets, don’t we?).
But there is one experience I am willing to share – even if it was fast, awkward and jerky.
When I was 16 I didn’t even think about getting my learners permit. I can’t remember why exactly and I don’t remember if my parents wanted me to or not. It just didn’t happen.
The years kept rolling past and my friends were all on their P’s, so they were able to drive me around. To this day I still think I lost some friends because they got sick of driving me around.
Anyway, I made some half hearted attempts to take the learners test. Once I went without making an appointment and it was closed.
I had this lame theory that if my legs didn’t work, how the hell was I going to be able to drive. Then again, looking back, that could have been an avoidance technique.
Then, four or so years ago I went away on my first independent trip to stay with some family friends in Queensland. The husband was a huge golf nut and he took me to a golf course. He showed me around by driving a golf buggy and at some point I asked if I could drive.
There I was, having never driven before, behind the wheel of a golf buggy and narrowly missing kangaroos and joeys. It was nerve racking and liberating at the same time. It was then that I knew I was ready to drive.
Of course I booked my Ls without telling anyone except for my mother who had to drive me there. It was a piece of cake. I wasn’t allowed to drive until I had been assessed by an OT and having the all clear from my neurologist.
Once I got the all clear and found our I didn’t have to have any modifications done to the car, I started having lessons with an instructor – no way was I going to have lessons from my parents.
I won’t bore you with details about my lessons, but at one stage it all clicked and I could drive.
My first drive on my own was to my uncles and I sneaked out to do this when I was home. By the time I got there I had sweated through my top and had pretty much held my breath the whole way there.
I was a teenage rebel at the age of 28. Going out without telling anyone where I was going, eating McDonald’s in the car – so maybe I was a boring rebel, but I was still enjoying myself.
The reason why I’ve told you this long winded story is because on Sunday I faced one of my fears. I drove on the freeway on my own.
This was huge for me! The only reason I did it was because my GPS guided me there. I merged into the traffic, I kept up my speed with everyone else and I got out of the merging lanes in time.
Then yesterday I did it again! I had to visit a client and I had someone in the car. No music in the background, I was too nervous. But when I got off the freeway I gave my passenger a high-5 and beamed.
I can now cross off one more thing from my list of things that I wanted to do this year.
Maybe on the weekend I’ll drive to the country on my own.
Then again, maybe not just yet.