On The Road With Harry
I’m writing this whilst on a bus journey, something I have got quite used to in the past 40-odd years. Even though I got my provisional driving licence when I turned 17, my life never quite presented me with the opportunity to make use of it, beyond the occasional ID requirements!
However, a recent legacy of my late sister left me with an offer I couldn’t refuse: her car! So, after decades of procrastination and set-backs leaving me emotionally, socially, professionally and mentally unable to cope with such a task, at the beginning of this year I took the plunge and booked lessons.
What was different this time that allowed me to take such action for the first time in my life? Ok, I had the chance to fulfil my sister’s wishes and make a little sense of her passing. Then there was a year-plus of Impact techniques learnt and practiced, to aid and support me in coping with something I doubt I would’ve ever achieved a short time ago.
So, I was able to set myself a long-term goal, plan the steps and short term goals to set me on the path to learning. I worked out what was important and what could be avoided, after all the future of cars aren’t manual gearboxes! Add that fate had transpired my sister’s last car to be an automatic, so destiny was in my favour there…
Using tools to cope with my thoughts and feelings, I overcame my fears in finding an instructor, relying on my strengths in researching to find someone suitable and contact them. I have taken my time, not succumbing to peer pressure to rush though lessons and take a test as soon as possible, it’s not really necessary in my case so why follow other’s targets and expectations.
I recognised improvements every week and took encouragement from my instructor as he also saw them. After a few months I booked my theory test, planning my revision and using online resources to practice. I didn’t see it as a do-or-die situation, if it didn’t work out I was sure I could see what I did wrong. So, coming into an examination-style situation did not phase me and I was relatively relaxed, even when they informed me I passed!
Now the driving became a short-term priority and I was able to cope with getting my car back on the road, taxed, insured and MOT’d, acting on advice from trusted people around me. I have since been using my peer support to help me get experience driving it, preparing me for the big day of the practical test, which is now booked and just weeks away. Even now I refuse to be phased by this target, as I know if it doesn’t work out, I have no doubt that I will pass in due course.
After that, I can look forward to all the new targets I can set, using this major new strength. I doubt I will be waiting for buses in the near future…