Simi Valley, Calif- Just close your eyes and imagine. Imagine the painful cramps before turning on the ignition and praying that nothing goes wrong. The chills that run up your arms and the sweaty palms from being nervous. Everyone around you telling you “Hey, you’ve got this”, even though deep down the lights, horns and commotion frighten the living hell out of you. This has been the struggle of the summer as I attempt to conquer my fear of driving.
I write about this topic because I truly need help. Twice I have taken the test and twice I have failed. The good news is, is that I have attempted to come out of my bubble. Two years ago I wouldn’t dare even sniff the drivers seat. The one time I attempted to drive was with my father and I spun out and nearly crashed into a Saguaro Cactus near Pearblossom.
Since that occurrence in 2010 I have avoided driving. Even as a beginning sports journalist I have found ways to succeed without the need or use of a car. Mastering every bus route in Los Angeles from the Valley to Inglewood and Long Beach became a hobby. Uber and Lyft (which ended up costing me thousands) came into existence. As long as I turned my stories in on time with the appropriate inch count and detail, I learned to adapt and do my job in the best way possible.
Now my back is completely turned. I am moving to Redding, CA and I don’t have a car. I’ll learn to manage without one for now, but now it is time to come clean and face the facts. The only way I will ever achieve self-realization is by conquering the one hinderance in my life. A hinderance that has driven women away from me and made my job and financial situation more stressful. I can’t run anymore.
So here I am coming clean. One more shot before it takes six months to reapply and try again. I know I can do it. The first time I took the test, I couldn’t figure out anything. I made such a fool of myself that I bashed my head against a wall continuously until a lump began to form under my forehead. This time I was simply going too slow and being overtly cautious.
If I can make it through high school, get a Bachelor’s Degree and win scholarships along the way, driving should be easy. But it isn’t. Nothing has ever come easy in my life. I didn’t learn how to ride a bike until two years ago after a month’s worth of crashing constantly at my sister’s lusciously green front yard in Connecticut.
Still I learned and six months later I decided to test my prowess my biking all the way down Sepulveda Blvd. The cool spring squeezed my face and chin and I never felt more alive.
If I could accomplish the hardest things in life like finishing school, getting a job and buying a house, then driving for three minutes is easy. I just have to do it.
Written by Ethan Hanson