My First Driving Experience
I bet someone just wondered why it took me 20 something years on it to begin my driving experience. I know, trust me, there are some areas I can admit that I was a late bloomer, but anyways I just got my first car, and I’m sharing my first driving experience with you.
The first time I ever attempted to drive was with my brother’s car with my mom in the passenger seat. I thought, how difficult can this thing be? It’s an automatic transmission, so I have to switch my legs fast or use the left foot for the brakes and the right foot for acceleration. Now, if you drive, you would know this theory could never work, but in my head, I had figured it all out that faithful Saturday evening.
We lived on a narrow street, and the only way to drive into the main road was to reverse first then head right. I have a master’s in architecture, and I breathe creativity, so how difficult would following a straight line and branching 45 degrees be? Easy peasy. Okay, I get in, and my mom asks, “chider, are you sure you can do this? We can go call your brothers o”. I respond with, “mummy, please stop; you’re making it look like I can’t do anything,” so she apologizes, and then I begin.
This short experience started with too many blunders on my part. I didn’t adjust the side or rearview mirrors, and I didn’t even think to do that. I just went straight to putting the car on reverse, no seat belt on even, safety just went right out the window because no one could argue I wasn’t an experienced driver. Now I’m reversing the car, forcefully ramming on the breaks and accelerator as the spirit leads. I was starting to sweat even in the AC; my mom wasn’t even helping matters. In her worried state, I was beginning to hear “blood of Jesus, Chi, please be careful, be careful” like we weren’t even 10 feet from where we started.
Now panic mode set in before I knew it, somewhere in between hearing my mom’s loud chorus and realizing that the left and right leg theory wasn’t working and not being able to see anything around. I didn’t think of the side mirrors, and I ran us right into a gutter. Yeah, right into that gutter, and I sat there for what seemed like forever in complete silence and shock. No one said a word. Mom had stepped out of the car to examine the damage, and her voice and worry had made my brothers come out. Now, it was me sitting in the car and looking back at four pairs of eyes staring back at me in disbelief.
Trust me, you know when you mess up, and you’re too ashamed even to defend yourself, that was me that minute. I just got down, slammed the door, walked to where the rest of the family stood, just threw the keys to my brother, and said, “mummy, it’s your fault. If you were not screaming blood of Jesus like we were going to die and making me nervous, none of this would have happened”. Her response was, “well, thank God I called him; if not, they’ll be trying to get us both out of the gutter too,” and everyone started laughing except me, of course. My failure wasn’t amusing at that time. I went straight to my room with my hands shaking and didn’t talk to anyone the entire day.
Present-day, I remember how I thought I would never learn, but I know there’s nothing practice cannot do. I think of my first driving experience, and now it’s funny to me. I wonder what I was so scared of. When I was ready to get a car, I hired a driving instructor. I got 2 hours of training each day for three weeks, and now I reverse like a pro. I figured out all the basics, and I’m so pleased. I used to think being able to drive a genius thing, and I feared I wouldn’t get there, but well, I’m doing it now, and no one is screaming for anyone’s blood. They sit in the passenger’s seat, playing music, and I have to let them know when we reach our destination. It’s always a safe ride.
To all the new drivers, you’re doing well and to the ones who think they’ll never get it. Cheers to us! Trust me, you will.