Today marks one year since I passed my driving test.
For those of you readers who know me personally, particularly for the past 3 years, you will know full well what a real debacle learning to drive was for me. In fact, I don’t know many of my friends who didn’t make a running joke of my failed driving tests.
It took me 18 months, £2000+, 7 tests, 4 instructors, 2 test centres and a lot of tears and tantrums to get that shiny pink license and to this day I have no idea why I found it so hard. Since passing a year ago, I have driven about 20000 miles and I now LOVE driving.
I think a driving test is a perfect example of when you let your head turn a molehill into a mountain. I can’t describe how my driving test became such a source of anxiety but it was a feeling I could not explain and could not rationalise. I would tell myself, ‘breath, keep calm, calm down…’ all which made me panic more. I could almost hear the voice in my head getting faster and more panicked as my hands got clammier and all of my driving concentration turned to negative thoughts and as a result, minors and majors.
I remember making a mistake and seeing out of the corner my eye the examiner marking it down on my test paper and thinking, that is it – I’ve failed. The chain of negative thoughts which lead to more negative actions meant I got worse and worse throughout the test. In all but one of the failed tests (the 6th), I had actually failed within the last 10 minutes. It was so annoying because if I had just kept it together for a little longer I would have saved myself a lot of time, tears and money.
One test I actually burst into tears mid test and had to pull over to calm down. Looking back, I think the 6th test was the worst. I passed on the 7th.
I never want to forget how hard passing my driving test was and how happy I felt once I’d finally passed it. I remember entering the 7th test with a completely different frame of mind. I was calm, controlled and confident. It was a conscious effort to change my mindset and with it I was rewarded with the shiny pink license I had spent 18 months trying to get.
I can finally laugh about it now. I don’t even mind being the butt of all driving jokes. What I will take from the great driving test debacle is no matter how hard things seem, I don’t think it’ll ever be as hard as passing that bloody test.
Positive of the day: I had a great session with some Year 12’s today in a school in Birmingham.