Dare to do

Dare to Drive – Part I. Driving is exhausting

Learning to drive is something I have been putting off for the past 9 years, despite constant inquiries by various family members. I finally took the theoretical exam 3 years ago for the first time, passed it on the first try and then never got the courage/money together to take lessons. Things have changed though. A couple weeks ago I retook the theoretical exam and passed, again only this time I went straight to the closest driving school and booked my lessons, the first of which was this morning and let me tell you, it is exhausting.

To be clear, I had 0 experience with driving anything with an engine. I haven’t even been kart racing. On top of that I’m also pretty terrified of driving and, because of burnout, pretty scatterbrained at the moment. So, not an ideal state of mind to start driving lessons. However, in the spirit of falling, I did, and I didn’t do a terrible job.

The class started with the instructor driving us over to a calmer part of the city, where we’d encounter (or endanger) less people. He then gave me a quick rundown of how to adjust the seat correctly and what to check for when adjusting mirrors etc. He also very quickly went over some of the controls for lights and signals etc. which, to be honest, went way too fast for me. At this point I was already slightly overwhelmed because my brain isn’t doing so well with accepting new information at the moment.

We then switched sides, taking a quick look under the hood in the process, and it was my turn to drive, kind of anyway. At first I learned when to turn the wheel, when to let go while the instructor controlled the pedals and then it was my turn. I have to admit that I was quite anxious at this point but I did okay. I didn’t hit anything or anyone (except for the curb once or twice, but I think everyone just starting out does that).

I never realized how many different actions you carry out at any given time when you’re driving. I did realize there would be a lot to pay attention to but not how much concentration and energy that would actually take. I actually needed a break after about an hour to just relax for a couple minutes before getting back in. At the end of the second hour my lesson was over and the instructor went over the things we did and specifically what I need to work on next time. Apparently I do things backwards. Most people have issues with starting whereas I tend to stop too abrupt but can start just fine. He did add that anxiety and absent mindedness are the main enemies of progress and that, because of these I’m a little behind on the average student. That said, it’s not something that will necessarily hold me back in the long run. It was only the first lesson after all.

In the end I must say that I do feel slightly less tense about driving now than I did this morning. I also rationally know that this is something I can learn, so many people do it all the time and I’m no different from any of them. As with so many things, I just need to get out of my head and do the thing.

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