For me, driving has been one of the most nerve wracking task I’ve ever had to do.
From the moment I received my flimsy paper learner’s permit, I knew I wasn’t a “natural”.
Initially, I was excited because I was one step closer to not having my mother drive me everywhere. It’s essentially one step closer to freedom.
Once I stepped behind the wheel, it was lead-foot and turns that were either too wide or too fast and sharp.
My grip on the steering wheel was tighter than shrunken skinny jeans, and whenever I finally got to my destination, my right leg always had the worst cramp.
Making matters worse, my mother was constantly by my side and in my ear. If I wasn’t nervous enough as is, she really knew how to get more out of me. My mother literally screamed at the top of her lungs for a car that was more than 500 feet away because “You weren’t looking, and you turning right then would have killed us!” It wouldn’t have killed us. She just didn’t have a drop of faith in me.
After an entire year of practice, I still wasn’t ready. So, I got my permit renewed at about the same time my younger sister, Dana, had got her permit. It actually looked like my younger sister would get her license before I would, and that sparked a little sibling rivalry to see who was the better driver.
It was clear to me that my mom thought Dana was the better driver, but eventually she let me drive on the interstate on our way home from Kentucky. Her main concern was that I wouldn’t go fast enough, and she had made it clear that I was to stay in the right lane because that’s where the “slowpokes” are meant to be.
I had a little faith in myself, definitely a lot more than my mother did in me, and I had prove myself. So, I hopped onto the interstate and within minutes felt comfortable to pass up people on the right lane that were going a little less than the speed limit.
I was doing so well that I drove the entire way back home, and even made my mother feel comfortable to fall asleep an hour in.
Thanks to a little confidence and some competition, I had never felt as nervous as I used to be, improving my driving. So, dear new drivers, please have some confidence in your driving skills because it goes a long way and may even improve your driving.