007: Licence to chill

To whom it may concern,

I had exam-stress this morning. I’m one of those people that remain totally calm about being tested until the day of the actual test and then I get so much performance anxiety that my stomach feels like someone made me do a billion sit ups the day before and I forget how to speak English and let’s not even mention coordination. Today’s test was even worse because I’m so late to the table. Most people my age sailed through this hurdle years ago but because I didn’t have a car after my mum moved to Sydney I’ve remained on my restricted licence for 5 years now! But finally, after my mum forced me to save money over summer I bought myself a little old school VW polo. It’s red and I call her McNugget. She forces me to listen to MaiFM and often doesn’t start in the morning unless I find a weird balance between turning the key and holding down the brake – she’s ghetto like that but I love her.

I knew I’d be nervous so I did what all kids do before any test; suddenly increase their faith in religion to a monk-like status. Not only did I go to church, but I also instructed my mum in Melbourne to cease all work for the hour 12.30-1.30 Australian time and pray for me. I was already off to a bad start before the test had even begun. In the pre-test car check-up, my instructor asked me to turn on my indicators and I promptly turned on my wipers. Twice. The rest of the test I’m so glad to say went fine aside from a case of misleading road marking that nearly caused an early death. Thankfully I’d driven the previous 17minutes like a hermit and all was well. I was and am over the moon. Never having to deal with the anxiety involved in making small talk with a person who is paid to judge you whilst driving and naming hazards is something I’m more than happy with.

The only part I did regret from today is trying to make someone feel better strangely. Someone I think is the greatest didn’t have the best luck at the test on the same day and for some reason, I thought diminishing my achievement would make them feel better. I even said something stupid like “It’s probably because I’m a girl” – like my vagina made me a better driver? Or made the instructor think I was a safer driver? I don’t even think it worked. The reason I passed was because I was a hermit driver and my mum insisted I get a lesson before my test because she’s been in a car with me. And Ray Miller was the most gangster AA instructor a girl could ask for with his nicotine-coated voice and absolute lack of ability to make anyone feel nervous. Lessons learnt today: diminishing yourself doesn’t make anyone else shine brighter or feel better, mum will literally drop anything for a good prayer session and I need to learn which side my wipers/indicators are on ASAP.

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