Picture the scene. It’s a crappy, grey and rainy Wednesday afternoon. I have my head on my desk, making grunting sounds of exasperation. Work has been bloody awful recently. No scrap that, extremely fucking awful and we had just had another meeting with the boss on how we could improve things. Needless to say, morale is down.
All day I have been singing everything in a high pitch, opera voice, rather annoyingly. When I get depressed, I tend to get a bit operatic. Lord knows why.
I hadn’t had too much sleep the night before (very unlike me, who is regimental when it comes to sleep) due to the fact my driving test was only a mere 5 nights away and I had a cold sweat on all night, thinking about it. You see, my driving test had been *years* in the making. I first started when I was 17, then promptly gave up as soon as I went to university. I planned to pass when I graduated and then I got ill and was in and out of hospital for three months.
Fast forward to a couple of crappy driving instructors, as soon as I got better, which made me vow to never get in a car again – before I met the angel of a driving instructor that is J. For the past year she had taught me how to drive, slowly and extremely patiently and it is a bloody miracle that she had gotten me to a stage where I was able to take a test that, if I passed* will allow me to become an official road user. LOL if you are ever in the North Devon area and you see a bright purple Corsa bombing about on the road, it’s probably me and you will do your best to stay clear!
There was a lot riding on my driving test, not least because I am nearly 25 and would love to bloody know how to drive but because having a driving license allows me to wave my crappy job goodbye. To be able to drive means I have more opportunities.
So now you can understand the enormous pressure I had put on myself, you can picture the scene on this grey, rainy Wednesday in which I have been rendered to an operatic singing, complaining-every-five-seconds, grunting mess.
Slumped on my desk, my colleague is trying to console me, saying that I’ll find another job, I’m young, this isn’t your life forever blah blah blah. Stuff I know, deep down, but that seems a bit futile when you’re in a funk. I explain how nervous I was for my driving test, how much I needed to pass and she said something that completely snapped me to my senses.
At least it will let you know you’re alive. That heart pumping and nervous stomach is something you will remember forever and your test is just a part of your history book. Even if you fail, you will pass one day and it will just be part of your story.
Well. This blew my god-damn mind. This was the perspective I needed, it was just so accurate.
Even though a driving test seems pretty trivial in the grand scheme of things, I think the advice it will let you know you’re alive is pretty solid advice and can be used for anything that is big, life-changing or damn right terrifying.
So often we just cruise through life, on auto-pilot. Day to day life can be relatively mundane. We may do things that bring small joys, reading a book, cocktails with friends, walks on the beach – but regularly life is pretty samey.
So when something scary comes along, I think I’m not alone in saying that us humans tend to freak out. We are creatures of habit and anything that doesn’t fit into the regular day-to-day is hard to rationalise.
I’m learning to embrace that pig-sick, hearts going at 100 miles an hour feeling as it is just letting me know that I am alive. Because isn’t that what life is all about?
*I wrote this on that grey and miserable Wednesday but have decided not to publish until I do actually pass my test. Because what is life without whimsy? Could be five days, could be five months, WHO KNOWS?! (please let it be five days!)
**GUYS I PASSED! First time babyyyyy!