Today, I did something that I have been putting off for approximately nine months. Today, I did something that I hate doing, but needed to be done. Today, I took another step towards being an adult. Today, I got my license to drive. (How much more awesome if I had said to kill. Yeah, I got my license to kill.)
Let me start from the beginning. When I turned 15, I was as excited as a five year old on Christmas morning to get my permit. My mother took me to the State Licensing Office and I took the online test. I passed and was so ready to get behind the wheel. We went to the License Bureau next to get my actual permit.
The first time I drove was also the last for the next couple of months. I hated driving. Absolutely hated it. All the other cars zooming onto the road next to you and cutting you off and honking at you cause you're going to slow and all the signs and rules and lights you have to follow and my mother and father yelling at me that I'm going the wrong direction. It was too much.
So far a while, I didn't drive. Then my dad persuaded me to get behind the wheel again, and it was a little better this time. And a little better the next, but never was I comfortable behind the wheel.
My 16th birthday came and passed and my friends left and right were becoming licensed drivers, and here I was with no desire at all to even become one. Getting my license meant I would have to drive. Drive to get it, and then drive afterwards. Why would I do that when other people can tote me around? I didn't get my license.
Then eight months later, Andrew's truck dies. He had no job, so no money to be able to get a new car, and I did not have my license, so I could not drive my dad's car. We were looking at a situation where it suddenly became hard for us to hang out. Andrew gently suggested I get my license, that way we could at least hang out over break some. I thought about it, thought some more, and after about a week, I mustered up enough courage to ask my parents if they could take me to get my license. I was going to do this.
Of course, Andrew's mom managed to buy him a used car, taking some money out of child support and then giving Andrew a good lecture about how he was eventually going to pay her back for part of it, and then the rest was a Christmas present.
Hey, I may not have to get my license. But by now, I wanted to get it. I started to feel bad that he always had to pay for gas and what other expenses while I just came along for the ride. I wanted to do this.
So today, my father had me drive out to the place, telling my things I would need to know; here's the headlights, the rear defroster, the front defroster, etc... We sat in line, and after a couple of minutes, one of the instructors called my name and told me to follow him.
Oh. My. Gosh. I was actually doing this. I probably looked like a freak as I led him out to the car, I was sure I was shaking and that oh my gosh I'm going to kill us all. He kindly asked me to show him where certain things were, and I complied. Deep breath. I could do this. He asked me to reverse out of the parking lot. I shifted into reverse, and I turned the wheel the wrong way. I was going the wrong way what the heck is wrong with me I've never had this problem in my life! I fixed it, and backed out.
He told me to proceed to the end of the lot. I stepped on the gas...and we lurched backwards. I repeatedly said I was sorry, and changed into the correct gear. He told me to relax and take a deep breath. I complied.
The rest of the test went much smoother than that. He was very polite, which made me relax and not make anymore horrible mistakes that made it look like I had never driven a day in my life. I had never parallel parked before, but I thought I managed that all right. We pulled back in front of the building, he gave me a grin, and told me I passed. I almost fainted I was so relieved I would never have to do that again. I found out later that I had passed with a 71, and you needed a 70 to pass. I didn't care that I didn't do very well, I passed and wouldn't have to take it again, and that's all that mattered.
Afterward, my dad handed my the keys, implying he wanted me to drive home. I almost laughed and handed them back. I had enough driving for today.