I’ve finally done it. I’ve applied for my provisional license.
I might be five years late compared to most people, but that’s okay. When it arrives in the post, I won’t be able to delay learning to drive any longer.
Driving lessons have never been a main priority for me. Yeah sure, I imagined that I would be behind the wheel one day, but that day didn’t feel imminent or tangible. Where I grew up we have excellent transport links into Birmingham city centre (ooo I sound very Location Location Location) and I always felt well connected. Even when my friends started to drive, I was quite happy to be in the passenger seat.
Going to university only cemented this view. Nobody drives at uni. (Actually, in our final undergraduate year, my good friend and flatmate, Kat, did bring her car. It felt like such a luxury to drive to supermarkets of our choice rather than always having to traipse down to the Sainsbury’s in Fallowfield.) But the vast majority of people don’t bring them because there’s really no need. Again, we had fab transport links – the walk to uni took 15 mins and so did the bus into town. Having said that, due to horrendous traffic on the curry mile and Oxford Road, the 30 minute walk (I’m a fast walker!) into town often took less time than the bus.
As I mentioned in my post about being a city gal at heart, I will only live somewhere if there’s a walkable train station and walkable local shops. Luckily, we do have both of these things (along with countless pubs, which is v handy) where Tom and I now live in Bolton (now that I am no longer a youthful student). But at the minute, the train station might as well not be there as, to put it simply, Northern Rail are shit. There are no trains at weekends are countless are delayed and cancelled during the week. I know lots of the disruption is because they’re making the train lines electric (which will be great), but a huge amount of it is down to “lack of staff” or “disruption” or whatever else. Anyway, the main point of this point wasn’t to slag off Northern Rail…What I’m trying to say is, the day has finally come when I’ve realised that it would sorta kinda be very handy if I could drive. The idea of being able to get wherever I want, whenever I want, without relying on public transport is pretty amazing. I’m not a hater of public transport in the slightest and must have travelled home to Brum and back up to Manc on the Megabus more than fifty times, but I am starting to get the driving itch now that I’m at the grand old age of 22 and am fed up on trying to pack a week’s worth of clothes into one tote bag.
To be honest, I’m terrified about it. I just can’t imagine myself behind the wheel, but I suppose that’s only to be expected. I know nothing about cars or highway codes or anything like that, but everyone has reassured me that the driving instructor won’t expect me to. The image of me getting beeped at by angry drivers whilst I spent five minutes frantically trying to negotiate a busy junction keeps sneaking into my mind, but I’m trying not to let it put me off. I just need to book my first lesson and do it. I won’t know what it’s like until I try, and things like this tend to be much worse in my mind than they are in real life. I also keep reminding myself that if my mom, who is a very nervous driver, can do it, I definitely can. (She won’t mind me saying this – she said it herself.)
So, I’ll keep you updated on my driving journey… here’s hoping it goes smoothly!