When I wrote my monthly round up post post yesterday I failed to mention something very important – I finally took and passed my driving theory test! Woohoo! Here is me celebrating with a beer!
That feels like a really silly thing to be proud of at the grand old age of 35, but the fact is, while it’s just a little thing that most of us got out of the way as teenagers, for me it has been a huge undertaking that has been hanging over me for quite some time, and I can’t tell you what a relief it is to be able to say I’VE DONE IT!!
See, I’m not a good student. I absolutely hate being in a situation where I don’t know something inside and out, particularly when I feel like I’m being judged on my performance, so being back in this situation so far into my adult life has not been comfortable. It’s awakened some chronic anxieties in me that I thought I had a handle on these days – a complete lack of belief in my abilities, a crushing fear of failing, the thought of everyone around me thinking I’m a complete moron because I possibly can’t do a perfectly simple and easy thing. All things which don’t make learning something new under pressure easy! And there were times when I genuinely thought I might have to accept that I was just not meant to drive, all because the thought of sitting a formal test brought me out in cold sweats. But thankfully the boy was there to keep cajoling me through and I finally bit the bullet, and turns out I had nothing to be worried about, because I passed comfortably and the whole experience only lasted about half an hour of my life!
But see, this is the thing about anxiety. Of course I had nothing to worry about. I have been revising for nearly a year and obsessively practising via the mobile app, so my knowledge on the subject was never the issue. It was all the silly little, seemingly inconsequential things that were bothering me. What if I slept in and missed my slot? What if the questions were just completely different on the day? Would they give me clear direction of where and what I was supposed to be doing when I got there? What did I do when I finished, just walk out? What will the computer I take it on look like? Will other people be able to see me? I’m finishing the practice tests way before the 57 minutes is up – does this mean I’m doing something wrong? Was I sure I knew where my drivers licence was? What if I just got the date wrong altogether? How would I tell my instructor if I failed? How would I tell my family? Was I sure I’d read the instructions right – what if there is a while other part of the test I didn’t know about? What if I just never pass it and can’t ever actually drive? All of these stupid thoughts meant this relatively minor event loomed over me like an impassible obstacle, and the whole of the night before was a bit of an ordeal. I felt sick, I had sweaty palms and my brain kept racing through a well rehearsed list of excuses that I might be able to use to get out of it. But even a skilled procrastinator like me has to suck it up and get on with it eventually!
Of course, that was the easy part, I still have my practical to get through yet, which I’m already feeling faint at the thought of, but for now at least, this little achievement has given me a renewed sense of confidence that I intend to try and use to my advantage!
Wish me luck!