I had my third driving lesson this morning. Well, when I say third, I mean from this time around. This is my third attempt at learning to drive. The first time I was 19 or 20, eager to pass my test as quickly as possible, managing to fail my test equally fast. A lack of funds ended that particular attempt.
Living in London — and living with a partner who could drive — meant I didn’t get around to trying again until 2004. I was zipping around north London and practicing my three-point turns, and everything seemed to be going great. And then the lack of funds thing happened again… and other bad stuff happened too. You know that story already.
So here I am, hoping it’ll be third time lucky. Because this time I have a more concrete reason for wanting a driver’s license. I want to move out of Bath and into the Cotswolds. I want to be nearer my nephew, and I want more space. And a cat. Maybe even a dog.
I want to start the next chapter of my life, and to do that I need to be mobile. I need to be able to drive.
Being a beginner is hard. Allowing yourself to be a beginner is even harder. I feel so accomplished in so many areas of my life, it’s frustrating not being able to just get in a car and go like everyone else. The first two lessons were hard on the nerves but today my confidence grew as we went out on country roads and I got my speed up to 60mph. Fourth gear, people! My positioning is still all over the place, but today I had moments of ‘I’m driving! and a few secret smiles as I remembered to take my foot off the gas when changing gear ;) A learner has so much to think about, but in today’s lesson I was more aware of what was happening outside the car too. This is major progress. I guess some of it must be coming back to me.
Today I’m really honouring this feeling of being a beginner. It carries so many lessons with it. Like patience. Humility. Vulnerability. Irony. There are lots of beginnings I want to draw to me this year, so it feels good to remember that with them comes the clunky lack-of-grace of being a beginner. We all have to start somewhere.