I’ve always wanted to drive, its been a dream of mine, but nerves and anxiety have always got in the way of me wanting to pursue this dream of mine. But one day that changed, I wanted this so much that I was prepared to put all nerves and anxiety aside in order to make this dream a reality. This wasn’t all about me anymore, I wanted to do this for my kids as well. They deserved to be taking out to wherever they wanted to go, without me having to worry about if a bus or train would be able to get us there.
The lessons began in a manual car and at first I loved it. I would countdown till my next lesson and absorb everything my instructor taught me, but after a little while (15 lessons or so) something wasn’t quite right. I couldn’t get to grips with the gears. I tried and tried but for whatever reason I just couldn’t get the hang of them. My instructor noticed it too and she was quick to suggest that maybe manual wasn’t for me and maybe I should try automatic. I was deflated, I felt like a failure and to top it all off I felt useless. To me it felt like jumping into an automatic was somehow cheating. I have to say that general opinion everywhere of automatic driving had made me think this way. But it was my Husband who made me think differently; “as long as you’re driving what does it matter” he said, “screw what others think of you, you’re doing this for you” and I knew he was right.
So I found an automatic instructor and I began automatic lessons. Well let me tell you, the difference was amazing, literally within 10 lessons I was ready to take my test. My test was booked for 10am one April morning, I was picked up and had my lesson, at this point I was ok, I had sweaty hands but apart from that I was fairly confident, and then I got to the test centre. My examiner was grumpy as hell. Now everyone is different when it comes to learning how to drive, I myself like to chat a little, it helps me relax more, but this woman did not mutter one word to me, which only added to my nerves. Everything was fine and then came the huge roundabout/junction and within a split second I failed. I was in the wrong lane and took too long to get across. I got home and I cried. I was gutted. But this was my dream and dammit I was not going to be defeated.
Test number 2 happened about a month later.I felt the same as before but this time I felt a little more determined and let me tell you, the beginning of the test was great, that was until I missed a sign hidden by bushes and branches telling me to give way to oncoming vehicles. I failed again and this time I was angry. I’d only got 3 minors and 1 major, some silly little sign had stopped me from grabbing freedom. In my anger I booked another test.
Again test number 3 happened a month later. Except it was pouring hard with rain. It was lashing it down but the test still went ahead. Everything went smoothly and then I couldn’t see the road markings, I was in the wrong lane….again. I failed. I got home and I was miserable. Every single time it was one little thing that was causing me to fail, my confidence was shattered and I felt like I would never pass a driving test.
That was last year and I haven’t taken a test since then. I’m scared to do another test because of failure, because I just can’t seem to get it right and mainly because another failure would bring my confidence down to an all time low. Do I regret stopping? Oh my god yes. Will I get in a car again and take another test? I hope so, but the fear lingers over me and I don’t want to be a failure again.4
Sometimes even the most positive of people can feel like failures. But if you do have a dream, look it in the eye and whatever fear you may have, do try to conquer it because that’s what I’m trying real hard to do.