The DMV may not bring most people joy BUT I am not most people

I was always afraid of driving. More specifically , I was afraid TO drive. When I was young I never had anyone to teach me how to do what looked like an impossible act. I watched people drive and I thought I would never be able to figure that out.

I want to think I was unaffected by the cruel things that were said to me by the people who adopted me I was said to be smart but utterly lacking in ”common sense.” Common sense was everything outside of school work. I did not mind bring declared too stupid to do laundry or any housework. Hey, I wasn’t actually dumb! I read my books and ignored appliances. Inexplicably, one day a used car appeared in the driveway. I overheard, “if that b***h would act right she could have it.”. I ignored the car as resolutely as I ignored the iron.

When I escaped the house I was surrounded by college kids who were clueless about life skills, but they had been spoiled. I guess they figured things out or became financially successful and hired help. Me, I found drugs. And there were no life skill lessons applicable to the household in that world. Driving became a nightmarish imagination. Something I thought was a Herculean task and I was afraid. I could not stand to drive with people in the car, because they would judge me. Sometimes they would even yell at me! But that was only until they realized how really very bad I was at driving and when they saw that their lives were in danger they became really gentle, as if they were talking me down off of the ledge. I noticed that the worst I drove the more optional things became. For example people would say things like okay that was good. Next time you might want to look. Or next time you might want to signal first. Everything was a gentle suggestion and not in order. I did not get very good at driving. But somehow last spring I made it I started driving with a learner’s permit and in December I took the happiest DMV picture you ever want to see because I actually passed the road test after failing the road test four times in Hawaii. Am I a good driver– no. Did the DMV staffer pass me out of pity? I will take it I was the only middle-aged person, older than 16 for sure, waiting for a road test was not carrying around a record full of DUI’s. The guy who took my picture was curious about my story of trepidation. I didn’t mention that I spent years not only afraid, but far too busy chasing my distraction to get a license. I felt slightly bad about portraying myself as an overcome without mentioning my deviance. But who says I have to be so hard on myself. I did overcome a major challenge, not all of it of my design. And even if I had self sabotaged, who says we can’t get credit for rising above our own limits?

By hook or by crook I have made it– now I am like a real grown up. instead of jumping in and out of strangers’ cars and hoping for rides from people so that I can feel attractive, I drive myself around and I even enjoy traffic. Things really are wondrous when you never have done them before. I’m like an infant seeing the world for the first time. And I am just loving the H1! Now if only I could iron…

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