I am 29 years old, and I never learned to drive. This is the first time that I have publicly admitted this. I am very embarrassed about it, but I decided to finally open up and say it out loud because today I am taking the first step to finally moving forward and becoming a real adult. Today I am taking my permit test.
See, my parents never taught me how to drive as a teenager. When I tried at 17 to get my permit for the first time, I found out my eyesight was too bad to drive, and I needed glasses. My mother took me to get glasses, but she never took me back to the DMV to take the permit test. Shortly after that, I moved out and without a car, I saw no need to get my license.
My girlfriend, whom I met around that same time, got her license and drove us everywhere. We were only 17 years old and with her being a new driver I didn’t feel like she was exactly qualified to teach me. It was about this time that I started to get more and more afraid of driving a car. Many people I knew were getting in accidents, and I always thought “man, if they KNOW how to drive, and they got into an accident, then me, someone who is just learning, is bound to get in an accident….and die!”
As the years went by I got more and more afraid and started to feel like I would just never learn. When I was 20, my dad had finally had enough of me stalling and tried to teach me how to drive a stick shift. It was so frustrating that I ended up crying, and he ended up yelling, and we both gave up. I felt like I just couldn’t do it. I was just too stupid and scared to learn how to drive.
For the past 12 years of my relationship with my girlfriend, she has been the sole driver. It has caused a lot of frustration and fights between us but I still just couldn’t get over my fear. I felt so bad knowing she was the only one who could do the grocery shopping and run the errands. I hated knowing that if something happened to her, I couldn’t even get her to the hospital. The fear just kept growing, though, and it felt impossible for me to drive without having an emotional breakdown.
Then Chardonnay got a promotion at work and her hours changed. She is working long hours and is too tired to work all day and still do the grocery shopping and run the errands. It is time for me to step up and face my fear and finally learn how to drive. Last weekend we went out to an empty parking lot so I could start practicing. It went ok, at least I think it did. I did cry, though. I cried because I was frustrated I couldn’t park the car right. I cried because I was embarrassed. I cried because I felt like a loser who didn’t deserve the awesome girlfriend who has put up with my fear and is now trying to help me get over it.
I had my cry then I tried again. I tried again and again and again. I will keep trying too. I have to do this for her, but more importantly, I have to do this for myself. For too long I have carried this fear and felt like less of a person because I can’t do something that seems so simple for other adults. I have to do this so that I can move forward in my life and finally feel like I can help and contribute in my relationship. I have to do this so that I can feel be more independent, be more whole.
I will keep you all posted on how it goes. I wrote this so that you all can hold me accountable. Once I say out loud to the world that I am going to do this, I have to do it. I can’t tell others to face their fears without first facing mine. I can’t tell others to keep trying and never give up when I can’t do the same.
So, wish me luck everyone! I hope each of you can face the fears inside of yourselves too. Do the thing you have never been able to do!
Until next time, good vibes. :)