Hi guys, it’s certainly been a while! I’ve been incredibly busy over the last 2 years (oops!) settling into my career that I had to put my blog on hold, but I’m back and determined more than ever to continue my hobby of blogging. It’s been a couple of years of ups and downs which I’m sure will all make it onto the blog at some point, but I feel that I’m finally at a point where I can manage a blog properly! Anyways enough of this catch up; I’ll fill you in another time… on with the blog post!
One of the things I achieved, while I was away was that I learned how to drive and passed my driving test. I have now been on the road since February and the time has just flown by. I feel like I’ve been driving forever but at the same time, I still feel like I have so much to learn! I actually ‘cheated’ according to some when learning to drive as I learned automatic instead of manual. The majority of my family drive automatic so from a young age I’ve always known that way of driving (what even is a clutch?!) plus automatic is somewhat easier to learn, so why the hell would I want to over complicate things and learn manual – I’m not going to be a boy racer or anything so two pedals are more than enough for me! The only reason I waited until now to start driving was that my job required me to drive which really annoyed me at first, but I must say their support throughout was amazing; they even let me have time off work for my driving lessons. For me, the reason I was always put off from learning to drive was the idea of tests, I hate tests! However, I found that by focusing on the two tests one at a time (practical and theory) really helped me give each one my full attention and took a bit of pressure off, and seeing as you can’t take your practical test until you have passed your theory test it was clear which one I had to take first. I passed my theory test in July 2018 and amazingly got 49/50 questions correct. I must say I studied solidly for around 2 months and went through so many practice papers (the theory test app is a life savior! I highly recommend) After that I took a month or so off and began driving lessons in September.
My lessons were a couple of times a week and while at first I felt like a bag of nerves, I soon got the hang of it and my instructor labeled me ‘speedy’ but in a good way. She even took me on a few A roads which she told me she only does with the students she trusts, safe to say I was thrilled with that! In about October she asked me to book in my test. I couldn’t believe, I would be taking my test with only 8-10 lessons under my belt, she must think I’m amazing! That’s when I realised that there is usually a 2 month wait time for tests so it’s best to book in your test when you can. I quickly came back down to earth and carried on learning the ropes of driving. My test was booked in for January and I felt ready, although I couldn’t seem to tell myself that as I was so nervous! I didn’t sleep a wink the night before my test, which for me is unheard of! I felt awfully sick and I even woke up with chest pain leading me to call my Mum as I was convinced I was dying After I was assured I was not and that it was simply nerves, I had to face the music. I had a final lesson beforehand and really messed up my maneuvers but there was no going back, the test was coming. My exam invigilator called my name and my instructor informed that she’s lovely, so I felt a bit more at ease. I passed the quick eye test beforehand, which for some reason I was stressing about more than anything! I got in the car and I was off. All was going well, I was given easy maneuvers, I kept checking my mirrors, and I felt at ease. The road I was driving on then turned into two lanes with parked cars on my left. I checked my mirrors and was about to pull into the righthand lane safely when I felt a hand on the wheel which wasn’t mine. That’s it, I had failed. As soon as an invigilator has to interfere it’s game over! None the less I had to carry on until the end of the test where she explained that she had to interfere because she thought I was hesitant and wasn’t going to move away from the parked cars. I was so annoyed, all that hard work gone just over a stupid little mistake which I felt I had well under control!
After a strong drink that night I brushed myself off and re-booked my test for February. I took lessons in the meantime and I felt a massive improvement. By experiencing a test first hand I knew what to expect. I knew the process, I know what the driving centre was like and most importantly I didn’t have the pressure of passing the first time. Something just clicked and the nerves subsided massively for my next attempt. I was still restless and worried as anyone would be, but I felt a bit more confident which I couldn’t help but think was odd. My exam invigilator called by name and to my relief, it was a different lady than before. That’s when my instructor leans over to me and said the words ‘she’s tough. good luck!’ Well, that’s just great! I got into the car expecting a frosty welcome, but instead, I was greeted with a smile! She was actually so lovely! We chatted away about holidays and work and I felt a lot more comfortable. This time I got harder maneuvers which I managed to nail and despite feeling more comfortable with the invigilator, I still found myself second-guessing things. As I drove back to the test centre my mind was going back and forth wondering if I had passed or not. I kept thinking about passing, but more so about failing again. I pulled up at the test centre, waited and then I heard ‘I’m pleased to say you’ve passed.’ I literally gasped. I couldn’t believe. All the stress and worrying was over. I had done it! I know it sounds dramatic but I cannot tell you how good it felt, literally like a weight was lifted off of me. She even told me that it was an excellent drive and that I should keep it up. I couldn’t stop smiling or talking for that matter, I was just so happy! At that moment, I really didn’t care that I didn’t pass the first time as it made my second test flow so much more smoothly. Yes, it is more expensive to retake and more frustrating, but there really is nothing wrong with it. It’s just a learning curve.
I hope you enjoyed reading about my driving test experience. As you can tell it was far from perfect but regardless of how long your journey is, you’ll still feel just as great when you’ve completed it. Once you’ve passed your test, your real driving experience begins. I’ve been on the road for 9 months now and have achieved a number of long journeys, my record is 5 hours. But I’m still not the most confident driver and that’s because I am still learning and that’s ok. I’d love to hear your driving stories! How many times did it take you to pass your test or were you lucky enough to pass on your first time? Are you learning to drive at the minute? Let me know how it’s going and how you’re feeling about your test.