Open Roads

Today I went with my mother to teach my sister how to parallel park.  She has her road test coming up, and is doing way better than me because I literally learned the maneuver the night before the test.  I have done it maybe twice since, both times while downtown and unable to pay for parking.  I hate it so much though that I will happily pay 15 bucks at the parking ramp to avoid it.  When I took my test, at the ripe old age of 26, I lost points for excessive maneuvers during my parallel park.  Otherwise I did pretty good.

Bernie is 22 and most of her friends have been driving for a while, as mine had at that age.  I often felt bad that they had to cart me around places, and vowed that I would return the favor someday.  Unfortunately, most of my friends scattered themselves to the wind before I got the chance.  My problem with driving was poor hand-eye-foot coordination.  I would approach a stop light and have to tell my left foot to pump the brake.  It was an anxiety thing and essentially something I had to rewire in my brain.   Eventually, I got the hang of it, and became comfortable driving.  Bern is very comfortable with driving, which, if she doesn’t pass the test, will be the reason why.

I think you have to go in there with a certain amount of nervousness, to keep you on your toes.  My test giver laughed when I said I was nervous, and told me there was no reason to be.  Um, excuse me, but I’m a bad test taker from way back, and here we are about to take one in a ton of moving metal?  No, thank you.

I passed though, which I was grateful for.  Afterwards I drove out to Kevin’s to tell him the good news, and bought myself an iced coffee at Tim Hortons.  Later my family and I went to rent a movie, and the car died in the parking lot.  It took one look at my license and bailed.

I wrote previously about my cars, so I won’t mention them here.  This is about driving.  Driving gave me a freedom I didn’t know was possible.  Suddenly I was driving myself to work, not having to wake dad up early to take me.  I could stay at rehearsal late and not have to worry about him waiting out in the parking lot.  I could go see my friends whenever I wanted.  I could explore the world on my own.

If I could go back in time, I suppose I would have tried to get my license earlier, but at the same time I’m glad I waited until I was ready instead of panicking my way through it because I wanted to celebrate the milestone the same time as my friends.  In the end I found that I loved driving more than I expected.  Sometimes to me driving is like painting a picture, or composing a song.  I can’t really explain it.  I’m just glad I got over my fears and got behind the wheel.  I am hopeful that Bern will ace her test, and join the world of the driving.  Next up, getting my husband behind the wheel.  Now, that will be a task.

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Photo by Taras Makarenko on

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