I’ve never been ashamed to say I don’t have a drivers license but I am also very proud to say I am learning how to drive. At 34 years old, I have lived my life thus far, never having known what it was like to face that fear. And I do say fear because I recall being 16 years old back in high school when I had my learners license – I never got passed that stage all because of some awkward driving expereices that compelled me to give up on going the full nine yards with it.
Back then it worked: I eventually moved to Winnipeg, then Ottawa, where having a license was never an issue in terms of mobility. I could walk, bike, bus, run – anywhere; & yet as independent I felt doing these things, I admit something was missing & I felt hindered in some ways, particularly in the job field where having a valid license is imperative if you want to compete for jobs. I started having day dreams of overcoming this fear & imagining what it might feel like to hop in a car on my own, behind the wheel, and just go – the possibility seemed so endless! I could leave a party anytime I wanted ; I could be the guy who offers to drive my friend home when they’re too tipsy; or blare my country music as loud as I want because it was my vehicle. I especially wanted to know what it might feel like to hang my elbow outside an open window, wind blowing on my face, sun shining & feeling independent on a whole new realm….
I knew that in this year home in Flin Flon, I would not only have an opportunity to remedy this lifelong dream, but that furthermore – I was gonna seize it once & for all. After all, learning how to drive in a small town like Flin Flon was considerably less frightening than the idea of learning how to drive in a bigger city – plus, my mom, bless her soul, offered to purchase an old Grande Jeep Cherokee for me to bounce around in & practice in. I think she felt better about this than allowing me to drive her prized truck; & I have to say I take pride in my little beater.
Within the first four months of returning to Manitoba I studied for & got my learners – this time I felt more proud of myself then I ever did at 16. It was a milestone for sure. I practiced a lot over the first months home but I have to admit that over the winter months I didn’t drive much; now that spring & summer are here – there’s no more waiting to finish what I started.
I feel exhilarated & slightly nervous. I’m gonna do this! Today my friend Stacey took me out in my jeep & I drove us away from Schist Lake & into town where I took her down Main street, through Creighton, Saskatchewan – back around again & right to The Candy Bar where I treated her to the best ice cream in town. The sun was shining – my window was down & that breeze was shining in our faces.
Soon I’ll be ready to go for this license!