Just under a year ago, I wrote an article titled, “4 Reasons Why I Don’t Have A Driver’s License”. In it, I listed the main reasons why I didn’t want to get my license; Distracted Drivers, Speed Demons, Personal Experience, and Anxiety. Basically, I don’t trust other drivers or myself.
Before I even reached 16, I was having nightmares about being the cause of huge car crashes. Scenes of gory crashes constantly overwhelmed me and made the thought of driving unbearable. When it was time to get my permit I wasn’t interested to say the least. From there though, the anxiety and pressure piled up.
I’m now almost 20. In a year, I’ll be done with college and off to who know’s where, doing who know’s what. The burden of needing to know how to drive has reached it’s summit. It became glaringly obvious to me that knowing how to drive is a necessity, especially if I have to move away after graduating. So over spring break I went to Motor Vehicles and took the test.
Since then, I’ve been out driving 3 times. The first time was just around my block with my sister. Surprisingly, I didn’t experience the panic that I was positive would occur. Besides hitting the brake too hard at first, I did pretty well.
The second time was in a mostly empty parking lot. My sister had me do laps around it and though I was still comfortable, I didn’t do a good job. I would turn too soon causing me to end up in the wrong lane, and would forget to look both ways(which almost got us hit by a bus!). I left feeling discouraged about the whole thing.
The third time was in an empty parking lot with my uncle. Again, I did laps around it. This time there were curbs, sharper turns, and more speed bumps. I was also in a different car which took some getting used to. After the obligatory running over the curb incident, I learned how to turn the car around curbs, rather than over them. Ha!
I think driving will always make me nervous, and that’s probably what will make me a good, safe driver. I’m never not going to be scared of oncoming cars or cars that are passing me, and parking might always be accompanied by flashbacks but what matters is that I’m doing it. I’m tackling something that once gave me panic attacks and that feels great. Just a few months ago, I thought my anxiety was going to win and was ready to let it. Now though, I’m seeking out things that give me anxiety in order to overcome it and I am overcoming it.
This experience has proven to me that anxiety doesn’t have to control me. I love that now I can look back and use these moments as inspiration to keep on moving.
What was your first driving experience like? Let me know in the comments, I’m interested to see how different people handled the situation.
Until next time,