You got a fast car, I want a ticket to anywhere

5 Jun

Like a lot of things in life, there are obstacles we try to avoid.

Maybe it’s quitting smoking. Or perhaps swallowing your pride and rekindling a friendship with a family member.

For me, it’s passing my driving test. From living in a large town to moving to Leeds and London I’ve never needed to drive.

Of course, at college it was the thing to do. Like most seventeen year olds, I started lessons at seventeen.

My first few lessons were with a teacher called Bob. He was a very strange character; whilst driving down the motorway he once offered me a bite of his banana and a swig of Tesco’s coke.

When stalling outside of my house he said, “I bet all your family are watching.” Nice.

Then I had Chris, who put up with my strange ramblings and lack of concentration. All my friends passed with Chris, but I turned to jelly in my two tests.

I blame the ferocious examiner Eileen; when I delved into some nervous chit chat she said, “Keep your eyes on the road.” Uh-oh.

With everyone passing their tests, it became a little bit embarrassing being the token ‘bus pass’ of the group. I told myself that driving simply wasn’t my thing. There were obviously huge pluses; a suggestion of a trip to the country pub always equated to me being the drunkard.

Not so great on dates; when waking up with a dreadful hangover and the realisation that my date must have had half a shandy at the most.

Yet, at that time it didn’t feel important as I knew I wouldn’t have to drive for a long time, if ever. As a modern woman I hate to admit how I imagined a kindly husband who would drive me to where ever I needed to be.

Slightly naïve for someone going into the world of journalism. It recently occurred to me that I must pass in order to work as a reporter.

I aim to be passed by July, and had my first lesson this morning. Last night I laid in bed feeling terrified of my 9o’clock lesson. I had visions of colliding with a tree or going the wrong way on the motorway.

The longer I left it, the worse it became.

Yet, as they say, driving really is like riding a bike. The instinct of checking mirrors came straight back, and although I shrieked every time a bird came within a hundred feet, I felt strangely confident.

I’m glad I faced my fear. Two days ago I didn’t even want to discuss driving; now I’m looking forward to my next lesson, which is scheduled for tomorrow.

It’s easy to say, “I’ll start tomorrow”, but taking the plunge really does pay off.


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