I am 30 years old and I am preparing for what most 16 and 17 year olds prepare for. My G2 road test. As to the reason why it has taken me so long to do it, a combination of anxiety and laziness have been the culprits. Through my late teen years and early 20’s it was likely best that I not be entrusted to operate a hair straightener let alone a motor vehicle. Now, as a mature mother of three and wife, I no longer wish to belong to the “bus pass of the month” club. It’s time.
My attempts to become a capable driver began with our Nissan Versa about a year and a half ago. The vehicle had been purchased a year or so prior and to my chagrin it was a manual transmission. My wonderful husband took me around the block a few times and although I was able to get the hang of getting the car into first gear, the lesson ended in tears. Wayne was encouraging, highlighting that I was able to get it into first which is great. I decided though that the only thing first about it was that it was my first and last attempt at driving a standard car. What can I say, other than I have no inner race car driver begging to get out. I am an automatic-car-lovin’ girl.
As luck would have it, I got knocked up…. twice. Therefore it became clear that we would not be able to fit all of our children in the vehicle, let alone double strollers and basic necessities. So we were on the hunt for a van. What we purchased was more than just an ordinary van. It was written in the stars that it would soon become the mom mobile. It was then that I decided I would take the plunge, face my fears, and get my driver’s license. The mom mobile was crying out to be driven, and there was only one mom for the job.
Fast forward to today. I am a capable driver in the opinion of my husband. Parking is the next evil that I am overcoming one driving lesson at a time. Now for those of you that know me (and even for those of you that don’t) you know that when I do things, I like to do them perfectly, or not at all. Suffice it to say that as a result of this expectation of my ability to be perfect, I have not accomplished many things for one reason-that I have never attempted them to begin with. I attempted to reverse park a few times and was obviously frustrated that I was not able to perfectly reverse park our Dodge Caravan. It was only after Wayne said something to me that everything changed. He looked at me with the look that he gives me that lets me know that he knows me better than I know myself most of the time. He said, “You do not have to do this perfectly.”
After hearing what he said, I laid on my horn in the nearly empty parking lot and repeated out loud to myself those words, “I do not have to do this perfectly.” It’s amazing how powerful a remedy those words were to my dilemma. After having that moment to accept that I am not now, have never been and never will be perfect, I attempted the reverse park. I nailed it. Twice more and more success. Parallel parked in downtown Kitchener on a busy Saturday afternoon at the park. Success. Gas station reverse park, check. And the final test was reverse parking when I got home in the spot right next to my nemesis, the Nissan Versa.
I will tell you that the feeling that I felt when I got home was amazing. To most, I am sure that it seems silly. But the fulfillment that I felt from facing my fear of not being perfect in yet another area of my life was overwhelming. In asking for help and accepting my limitations with attaining perfection, I surpassed the expectations I had of myself to fail.
I kicked parking’s ass. Thanks Wayne.