Photo taken with my first driving coach, my dad.
“Alright, step on the gas, then slowly, very slowly now, move forward.” “Got it.”
“Now look at the side mirrors to the left then to the right, just very quickly so you can see the cars to your either side. “ “Got it.”
Do that every now and then and don’t forget to look at the rearview mirrors as well, ok? ” “Got it.”
The first time I sat behind a steering wheel, I was so nervous that my palms were profusely sweating and I could almost hear my heart pounding at a very audible rate.
My dad was the first person to teach me how to drive when my husband and I were still living with my parents more than a year ago. But when we moved out to find an apartment near our workplace, my husband took it upon himself to take over where my dad left off. But as my father was patient, my husband is otherwise.
So here I was trying to drive in the highway with my husband in the passenger seat throwing instructions at me. I’d like to believe that I was ultra-focused with whatever it is that he is saying when I suddenly heard him shouting, “Breaks! Breaks! Breaks!” and in my nervous state, I actually hit the gas instead of the breaks, and hit the breaks when I was almost an inch close to a passenger trike in front of us. And since I got away with it, I still managed to beam at him and say, “I Got it!”.
Another instance was when I was supposed to do a left turn and then I guess I wasn’t fast or brave enough to do the turn that I was caught by a red light and obedient as I was I stop almost midway down the road and I ended up backing up to my original lane because the other side would be on go. And when we got the green light, the car behind me honked me to move on to which I did forgetting that I was still on reverse mode so instead of moving forward, I was moving backwards. Good thing I was able to hit the breaks before I was again an inch close to the car behind me. I may easily panic and get rattled but as you can see my reflexes serve me well, bless them and in this case twice so again I beamed to my husband and said, “I Got it!”. And all he could do was just to shake his head in disappointment.
My husband finds me hopeless in the endeavor that I am pursuing and he kept on saying that it really is very easy to do considering that I’m learning to drive in an automatic and not manual transmission. And there are a lot of even older people who can drive easily so why can’t I do it. He was getting frustrated with me and of course to that effect I was getting frustrated with myself.
I am a very strong willed person, the closest of my friends can attest to that. I do not give up easily. I am invictus, I always say. But driving made me question all that. I mean, what am I really doing wrong? Why can’t I drive a darn car straight when others are just seemingly nonchalant about it?
Many times in our lives, there are moments like this when we question our decisions, our capabilities, and our ambitions. We thought we’re doing mighty fine but in the midst of a very sunny day, rain suddenly pours out of nowhere and we start to tumble down. And when the tough gets going, many a fellow let themselves tumbled down further without any inch of effort to rise back up. They succumb to failure and despair. They begin to lose their edge and crack. My fellow toastmasters and guests, you would ask so how do we get back up then? How do we redeem ourselves? How do we come out of the rain?
A friend once said, we are all born champions, ergo, we are born to be successful in whatever endeavor we pursue. Failure, the enemy of success, is always there, lurking in the shadows, ready to strike when opportunity knocks in and it will, always will. But when it does, let it not dampen your spirits and conquer your souls. Fight back and lift yourself up, slowly but surely, to the paramount of success. You can make it once you really believe you can. As a song strongly encouraged, if at first you don’t succeed, get yourself up and try again and again and again. Don’t give up. Never ever give up no matter how long it takes, no matter how hard it takes. You got this. Say it with me, everyone, I got this!
It took me a long time to learn how to drive, I think more than 6 months with pauses in between before I really got the hang of it and that’s obviously still longer than the average. I accepted the challenge with all my heart and even at the verge of frustration, I did not give up. So, now whenever my husband ask to go somewhere and says, “You drive.” I’d say, “Sure, I got this.”