On Driving

Just a month and a bit shy of thirty, I finally got my drivers licence.

My first time driving a vehicle I was roughly twelve, and my grandfather took me out on rural Saskatchewan roads, driving his 1960s era Chevy truck. I remember sitting on the bench seat, trying to push that clutch. It was very challenging to get it down, but the truck was forgiving, and I was able to drive it. I seem to recall I even got it up to 60 at one point.

I got my first learners permit about ten years ago, at the urging of my now wife. It took me two tries, after flubbing a question too many on the first attempt. Learning to drive didn't go well. I wasn't personally particularly invested in doing it, and so at the first challenge, I essentially walked away from the notion. Mostly I was just happy I had ID I could use when trying to go to a bar with my friends.

For ten years afterwards, I got by without driving. I used transit, and had Andrea, who has loved driving for years.

Moving to Ottawa though made it pretty clear I was going to need to know how to drive. Winters are not particularly forgiving to just random exploration on transit. Plus, if we start a family, it's important we both be able to drive the car somewhere! So last year I started saving for Drivers Ed, wrote my G1 (learners) exam in Ontario, and then finally took lessons.

I was so nervous about writing my G2 road test. I booked the day off work, and booked some extra driving hours with my instructor earlier in the day. When it was finally time for the exam, it flew past so quickly I was shocked. I pulled into the parking lot on at the testing centre, parked the car, and the examiner said "Congratulations, you passed!". I was tempted to reply "Are you sure?"

I've since been practicing driving standard with Andrea. After a little bit of awkwardness trying to find the clutch point near the beginning, I am happy to report now I've managed to drive a few different big routes, and am starting to feel much more comfortable driving. Both in general, being a person on the road, as well as driving standard.

I've still never driven the car alone, but I am excited for that day in a way that I am sort of surprised to report. My dislike of driving doesn't seem to be standing particularly strong.