If you’ve been reading this blog for a while, you will know the embarrassing truth that I cannot yet drive. I know. A 35 year old woman who can’t drive in this day and age! And yet, here we are. I can’t even really fully explain why it has taken me so long. I’m only recently coming to terms with the knowledge that I suffer from anxiety, which was most likely the first factor. For some unknown reason, the idea of driving has always terrified me. I have no idea why. I’ve never been in or witnessed a car accident, but for some reason I just convinced myself from a very early age that my chances of dying may well become doubly likely if I let myself loose on the road. I even had dreams about it! So as my 16th Birthday came and went – the age where most kids are chomping at the bit to get going – and my Nana pledged to foot the bill for my lessons, I was quietly dying inside.
Thing is, my Nana lived a long way away, so there was noone to nudge me, and so I just kept quiet about it and no one seemed to notice. The years crept by. Growing up in a city without driving is incredibly easy as it turns out. Public transport gets you everywhere, shops are just on your doorstep and even in worst case scenarios my Dad was usually willing to offer a lift. And so without a burning platform, I simply continued to not drive. My teens turned into my twenties, then my twenties turned into my thirties, and all the while I carried a deep rooted shame that I could not do this very simple thing that everyone else could do. But still, I couldn’t make myself find the motivation to want to try.
All that changed when I moved to the countryside and realised it was finally time to bit the bullet, lest I wanted to find myself stuck in the middle of nowhere with a husband at home and small children to entertain. So I did the thing I genuinely didn’t think I was capable of and I ordered my provisional licence! It wasn’t all plain sailing from there though. It was almost a year before I plucked up the courage to book a driving lesson. Then of course came the chronic anxiety that came with taking my theory test. And 18 months of lessons later, I’m still not there – I’m not sure I’ll ever feel like I am to be fair. But I did manage to hit a pretty important milestone last month…
…I bought a car!
Genuinely, I have no idea why anyone would think me grown up enough to own my own car, but there you go – some crazy person was willing to sell me one! Her name is Nellie, and I love her to bits! Well, I say I love her – it’s a bit of a love hate relationship right now. The first time we took her out did not go well. She has a gear box the other way around to what I’m used to. I’ve never driven petrol before and could not get used to how much throttle I need to give when setting off. The indicators are really annoying. And lets just say there was an incident with two groups of horses passing each other on a country lane which led to me stalling about 6 times then dissolving into tears. But as much as I berate myself for not being there yet, I have to give myself props at least for the fact I’m doing it. This was one of the things that scared me most in world (for no particular reason…) and I’m doing it. And it’s getting easier every time. I think I might actually be able to crack this soon!
Wish me luck!