So I passed my driving test on my 2nd attempt. Yeah.
On my first attempt I completely screwed up my parallel park (after getting it damn perfect in practice sessions.) Just the nerves, they got me. I was pretty upset. I was told that the chances of me getting another test before my Learner’s were to expire was unlikely. I felt like I had let everyone down, I felt stupid and I really wished I lived somewhere where public transport was decent and non-drivers were more common.
Luckily, the testing centre had a cancellation on the day my L’s were due to expire and I quickly booked myself in. And practiced. And parked and parked some more. And I passed. I felt good. I felt relieved. I felt a moderate amount of pride. But the feeling of ‘elation’ that I had expected? It didn’t come.
Why not? I worked hard for this. I tackled one of my fears head on. I did something that made me feel sick just to think about. I came to a point that I often have before with other ventures, and instead of running like I usually would have, I kept going. Through my fear, my anxiety, my substantial self-doubt. I did all the hours required to fill my logbook. I did not dodgy up a single one.
I set a goal and I had achieved it. A goal that would directly benefit myself and my family. I had actually followed a New Year’s resolution through to completion.
But could I be happy for myself?
That night I lay awake not feeling blissfully fulfilled, but constantly going over the points that I got wrong in the test, the areas I needed to improve on. I tried to imagine what it would be like to drive our big car as opposed to my mum’s smaller one in which I passed the test. I stressed about which routes to take where and how I was going to park the damn thing.
Turns out that just because I have a little piece of plastic that says I am legally allowed to drive, doesn’t mean that the anxiety I feel about driving just disappears. Who would’ve thought, huh?
It probably sound like I’m a bad driver, but while behind the wheel I am actually really focused. It is only beforehand that I get nervous, and afterwards that I torture myself with all the things I could have done better.
And it seems like the only way to improve is to just drive through it. Hopefully the more I drive, the less anxious I will feel. That’s what my family tell me. That’s what I’m telling myself.
That, and I want my own car, something more my size. That big car is a real bitch to park.