#AdventurousApril: Driving Me To Tears

18 Apr

Ever since I became comfortable with driving an automatic, I figured it would be smart of me to try to master stick as well. I witnessed my brother attempt it when he was 16 and quickly fail at it (my mom had to take over while we were still in the middle of the road). He never touched it from there on out, so I figured the learning experience was going to be not only frustrating, but also terrifying for me.

My boyfriend and I have been living together for almost 2 years now, so we commute together to and from campus. And it’s not necessarily because we want to save gas, but because I do not currently own a car. A couple years ago I had multiple seizures which prevented me from even getting behind the wheel for a very long period of time, so long that I didn’t feel confident driving anymore. But even if I wanted to drive, I couldn’t. Because the one car we have is, of course, a stick.

But recently, after much convincing from my boyfriend, I decided to test the waters.

First I tried backing out of the driveway which happened to be a lot more difficult than it looks. I couldn’t quite get then hang of maneuvering the clutch and the gas peddle in perfect harmony. Plus, both the recycling and trash can were out at the end of the driveway so I was inches away from hitting them before my boyfriend got out and moved them.

Once I made it down the street I called it a day because I didn’t want to push my luck.

Then came Saturday night, when I decided to try again considering that there were probably a fair amount of empty parking lots at this time of day. My boyfriend drove us to a parking lot behind an Ace Hardware, hidden away from the main roads.

Of course I was nervous, but once I got back in I felt determined. I wanted to master driving stick as fast as I possibly could. But I got no where near that. I couldn’t get far without stalling, never mind even letting off the clutch as I pressed on the gas correctly the first time. Again, it’s a lot harder than it looks. I suppose it was more nerve racking than frustrating, but sometimes I felt so anxious that I could tear up at any moment (but I never did).

All in all, I think I made some progress, but I’m figuring it’s going to be months before I feel safe driving to campus.

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