It took five visits to the DMV and three times taking the driving test before I finally passed and got my license at the age of 23. My parents forbid me to learn how to drive when I was a teenager, so you’d think I would’ve be eager to drive myself around. But I was too chicken to get behind the wheel until I was 25! I drove a Car2go for a while, but finally, at the age of 26, my parents helped me buy my first car – a used 2003 Toyota Corolla ❤
I credit my parents for teaching me how to pass the driving test at the Hollywood DMV, arguably the hardest place to pass that dang test because they take you out to the busiest LA streets. But I didn’t really learn how to drive with confidence until I had to drive for my jobs. I was on my own, and it was up to me to learn how to drive responsibly because so much was on the line.
In about a year, I really got the hang of of the road. I learned how to drive on the freeway when I was in outside sales, driving from Downtown Seattle to Redmond and Kirkland everyday to conduct business deals. Then, I got really good navigating Seattle traffic and streets when I was a kitchen delivery driver for Molly Moon’s Ice Cream. I had to quickly learn how to parallel park for that job… a Ford Transit van with no rear view mirror! So I got pretty dang good, as evidenced by the above photo. I’m not perfect all the time, but this is one of my best parallel parking jobs ever.
I don’t think I can say “I LOVE DRIVING”, but I can confidently say… I really like driving 🙂 Playing a podcast or some music and being on the road is relaxing. Traffic can really suck sometimes, and there was one instance where I was so mad I even yelled “Fuck you” and flipped off a driver… but otherwise I am pretty good at staying calm, and I enjoy being on the road. I definitely had a rocky start, but now I feel cool when I drive, and feel proud to be a safe and responsible driver.
I can still say I enjoy being on the road, despite having been involved in my very first car accident recently. A geriatric man was the at-fault driver in a four-car collision, and it was very scary. My car was the third in a chain of rear-ends. One lady had to be carried away in a stretcher, and my knees got pretty banged up. My car has a damage estimate of about $1300, and I’m going in for a second inspection tomorrow. But I still feel so thankful that nothing worse happened. Though it has been very inconvenient. Because of my knee injuries, urgent care and follow up visits, damage inspections, and phone calls with my insurance company, this accident has interfered with my exercise routine and study schedule. I was pretty bummed for a couple days, but maintaing a positive perspective on this has helped me to stay on top of my commitments–just not in the way I planned.
I am learning a lot from this experience… Like making plans is just something extra humans do to give structure to their lives, but ultimately there are no guarantees. Learning this first-hand through many hard experiences these past few years. Planning is certainly helpful, especially for prioritizing. But the most helpful thing we can do for ourselves is learn how to roll with the punches and deal with the crashes.