Your first set of wheels is a massive right of passage, especially in Northern Ireland where even those of us who live in the city are only ever 15 minutes away from the countryside. When I was 17 learning to drive was not a priority, I lived within a 15 minute bus ride of the city centre, I could walk to school and most of my friends houses were less than 20 minutes away. Our social lives centred around heading into town and taking it from there. Learning to drive was expensive, I couldn’t have afforded it without giving up far too many of the other things that were important to me – like makeup and cinema trips! When I moved away from home properly it was to Edinburgh, a well connected city where, again, I had no need or funds for a car. Plus Matt had one so I really had no incentive to learn to drive.
With hindsight, I really do wish I had taken lessons when I was younger. I’m now 14 lessons into my ‘learning to drive’ experience at the age of 27 and I am SO ready to hold that golden ticket in my hand. Sure I won’t be able to afford my own car, with the cost of tax and insurance to consider but I will likely be able to drive Matts.
Honestly, I’m just fed up. I have no independence, I rely on people to take Luisa and I places. We would like to be going to more classes, on playdates but it’s so hard to do that on public transport. I could probably make more of an effort but given that it takes a good half hour to actually get over the front door, 20 minutes to walk to the bus and then 20-50 minutes to get anywhere decent on the bus I’m really tired just thinking about it! I want to be able to go places, run errands, pick up parcels without asking for help or coordinating my day like a military general.
So here we are, I’d love to pass my test for Christmas but I’m not sure it’ll happen. I’m a terrible student because I hate being ‘bad’ at something. I like to learn quickly and it frustrates me that driving is all about repetition and practice. I know that is really very childish but it’s my stubborn personality and I can’t seem to get past it. I actually really enjoy my lessons and my instructor is very encouraging. I’m just too hard on myself and don’t tolerate mistakes – which is nonsensical! In short, I’m a stubborn mare who craves independence and will, hopefully, soon have a little more.
When did you learn to drive? Have you got any tips for me?