There are two things I am incredibly ashamed to have never managed to learn in my 31 years of life.
One, I can comfortably avoid most of the time, even if it really is an essential life skill – I can’t swim. I had lessons at school and whenever I seemed to be getting a bit of confidence in the water I’d do something stupid like fall in off the side, or have a verruca burnt off my foot, and then I’d be back to square one.
The second I think I am more embarrassed about. I am 31 years old and I cannot drive.
It’s not that I didn’t want to learn, it’s just that the chance to do so seems to have passed me by. I remember asking my Dad if he’d teach me when I turned 17 – he said yes. But then I fannied about organising my provisional license, and by the time I’d got it sorted my parents were splitting up and life was a bit topsy turvy.
And then I was at uni. I had no money for driving lessons – all my student loan went on books and nights out. Ok, mostly nights out but you get my point.
Then I left uni and was a poor non-graduate (yay for failing second year – cheers Depression, you tosser…) with a low hour contract selling bathrooms for Homebase and rent to pay.
Learning To Drive
Hubs bought me 5 hours of lessons for my 22nd birthday – the first few went really well, but then the instructor was getting me to do 3 point turns before I was comfortable, and I felt like they were pushing me too fast. Fast forward a few years, and Hubs used to take me out in his car round the local shopping centre’s car park, and a few of the smaller local roads, but I never stuck to it.
9 years since those first lessons, I am FINALLY back behind the steering wheel. We sold our Mondeo Estate and bought a Mini Cooper. Things are actually moving forwards – albeit it slowly, never getting out of second gear and panicking whenever a car comes the other way…
I’ve had two lessons now in the last two weeks; my instructor is lovely, the car is nice to drive and I’ve only nearly been involved in one accident so far! He told me at the end of my last lesson that I have the skill, but my confidence needs work.
I mean, tell me about it – that’s the story of my entire sodding life.
Next lesson – 3rd gear!