i am 51 years old and i just had my first driving lesson.. whew, there i said it.. i am tired of being embarrassed by my short comings.. every time i have to answer someone who asks why i don't drive, it becomes more and more of an excuse.. if i KNOW the reason why i don't drive, then why don't i make actions to remedy it?
back story.. i grew up on a little indian reserve, my father was so old fashioned that he didn't think women should drive.. my mother didn't drive and he didn't teach any of his 3 daughters to drive.. he died when i was 23 and i started messing around with his now collecting dust in the driveway Oldsmobile.. i started with just driving it up and down our long driveway.. then gaining some bravery, i would cross the road, turn around and back up the driveway.. i got to going little bits further and further.. till i was comfortable driving in our little village.. in this time, there were no street lights and the roads were gravel.. no one on the reserve worried about insurance, registration, inspections.. everyone drove what was called a Rez Runner.. old, durable cars that could take a beating.. we didn't have laws or enforcement and felt we didn't need rules..
once i moved off the reserve, i realized there were rules and laws and the towns were busy and the traffic was crazy and there were buses and taxis and everything was within walking distance.. i didn't even need to drive now and it just slipped away without much thought..
next chapter, i move to the USA, i'm with my then boyfriend and he runs a stop sign.. i'm the passenger and this is my first accident, ever! it traumatized me and i grew afraid of even being in a car.. i started making excuses to NOT take long trips and i didn't trust the dude anymore.. i allowed this to grow, till i had and have, PTSD and a full blown phobia..
next chapter: TODAY: a life time has passed and here i am.. it is time to conquer my fears.. [and this is the only fear or phobia i have] so, it's time to go outside my comfort zone and meet my fear head on.. i am tired of being a spectator in my own life.. i feel like i am on the sidelines watching my life pass me by.. i am so busy avoiding something that makes me uncomfortable that i'm not really happy or fulfilled..
in all other areas of my life, i am brave and gutsy and carefree.. i've always lived by the seat of my pants and this is the only thing that holds me back, the only thing that causes panic attacks and stress induced insomnia.. i've allowed something to become huge and scary and paralyzing.. the fear has become debilitating.. i hate knowing that i am a victim of my own thoughts and emotions..
step ONE: admitting my short comings.. saying it out loud and putting it out there.. maybe embarrassment can push me..
step TWO: reach out and seek help.. i took my first driving lesson with a lady that specializes in phobias.. she took me to some back streets and put me behind the wheel.. she made me drive for 1 and 1/2 hours.. with traffic, stop signs and pedestrians.. ACK!
step THREE: practice till my next session, which is 3 weeks away.. my fella pulled over, out in the country and surprised me with "get in the drivers seat, you are driving the rest of the way to Grams".. maybe 2 miles in the country.. i did it..
i don't know if it's too late, i don't know if you can teach an old dog new tricks, but i'm sure going to try, at least i'm participating in my own life.. hey, get busy living or get busy dying.. right? [grin, wish me luck]