Friday, April 26, 2013

learning to drive

As I've been alluding to the past few weeks, I've been in the process of learning how to drive. It's a little bit embarrassing to be saying that, at my age. I'm about to turn 28 (already? how'd that happen) and I'm just now getting around to learning how to drive.

When the rest of my friends were all learning how to drive as teenagers I was very strongly discouraged from exploring that option. It wasn't something that was supported in my household, it was made clear that if I wanted to learn there would be no help and I was basically told that I had no business driving. Specifics included "too clutzy to learn to drive". It was a lot of time and money for something that I didn't have any support for, and I wasn't going to be able to afford a car for myself so I just let it slide.

Then I just ... never prioritized it. I thought about learning to drive when I was out of university, but I knew that if I learned I would want access to a car and it wasn't something I placed and financial priority on. As much debt and as little savings as I had straight out of school I just couldn't wrap my head around the idea of a car.

After letting it go for so long the idea of driving started to take this huge life of its own in my head. I lost that fearlessness that I think helps carry teenagers through the learning process; I'm very aware of how dangerous a car can be, the fact that accidents happens and that life is mortal and tiny and precious. Plus, being in downtown Toronto a car seemed like craziness and Bunny had the truck for when we needed one anyhow. We even lived completely truck free the year that Bunny was back in school to save costs.

I'm biting the bullet and just learning, now. Part of it is independence, and knowing that mobility and transportation will always be an option for me. Part of it is to get me options for how to get around this city, even though we won't be looking at getting a second car (at least not for a very long time), part of it is that Bunny thinks its important, part of it is flipping the bird to the person who thinks I have no business driving. Part of it is sheer fun.

It's a lot to think about. It's a lot of variables to balance at once - gears and gas and breaks and the clutch. Trying not to stall the engine (poor Lucy, I tried to start her from third). I've only driven in a parking lot so far, and I'm still afraid of every other moving vehicle and even people walking in the distance but man is this fun.

What was the last thing you did that scared you?


  1. I got my drivers license when I was 25, never really thought much about it before then. But I was starting grad school and was going to need a car to go to my internship so I had to bite the bullet. Thankfully the whole process was painless!

    The scariest thing I've done lately was applying to a job abroad! After I sent the application I had a mini panic attack, lol... "OMG! WHAT DID I JUST DOOOO????"

    1. Good luck with the job application!

      The hardest part with driving right now is just starting. My mind is boggled at how someone just gets a standard car going without thinking about it - balancing feathering the clutch and getting enough (but not too much) gas and turning all at once is a little overwhelming right now.