Feb 9 – Car Keys

I’m 21 and I cannot drive. Where I come from, this is something unheard of and laughable. Getting your driving learner’s permit at the age of 16 is pretty much a right of passage in my small, middle of nowhere town. First off, driving apparently makes you cool and gives you way more freedom. Secondly, with how ‘middle-of-nowhere’ my town is, you must be able to drive to go pretty much anywhere. It came as a shock to many when I didn’t go to take my written learner’s permit test when I was 16 – the truth is, I just didn’t make time for it. I was completely content bumming rides off my friends and brothers. Also, I was a year ahead in school, so while everyone around me was getting their novice licenses and buying their own cars, little 16-year-old me barely even knew how to drive a car. A few months after graduation, I turned 17 and finally went to get my learner’s permit. With an ugly photo taken and a bright red “L” magnet in hand, I made my way home happy to say I had taken the first step in getting my driver’s license. At the time I couldn’t anticipate that my life would take a lot of curios turns which would end up with me moving to Australia before my 18th birthday. That being said, I never took the time to practice driving or take a lesson, so soon my driving permit expired and I had absolutely nothing to show for the fact that I had once tried to get my full license. Fast forward a few years and I’ve moved back to Canada, to my precious little town. The public transportation is awful – something that I’m not used to since I’ve lived in a big city for three years – and my work isn’t an eight minute walk down the hill. I’m in the same predicament that I was in when I was 17. Terrified of driving, but frustrated with the fact that I can’t get anywhere. To top it all off, my friend sold me her car, because I need one, but I can’t even drive it! All this to say, I am 21 and I can’t drive and I really wish I had done the popular thing and gotten my license when my friends had. Also, I booked my first driving lesson for Monday and I am absolutely petrified, but it’s all about the baby steps right?

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