I woke up this morning from a dream that I can’t remember, but the first thought in my head was that it was somehow connected to getting a driver’s license.

I took driver’s ed the summer between my sophomore and junior year in high school. I did pretty well, and had no more than normal nerves when I took my driving test. I failed it. I failed it because the officer thought I lacked confidence because I drove so slowly past the elementary school, carefully observing the reduced speed limit. Problem was, it was summer, and the speed limit didn’t apply.

Embarrassed and lacking support from my parents, I did not attempt to retest. Nor did I drive. (I may have also refused the little support my parents may have offered, recalling my teenaged self.)

I took a driving test again a few years later in a different town in a different life. I failed this time because I could not parallel park. Again, embarrassed and discouraged, I didn’t pursue driving. I did not get my driver’s license until the ripe old age of twenty-two, and only then after driving (illegally) without a license for several months.

Between that first failed test and finally becoming a legal motorist, my life had many twists and turns. As I reached to remember the dream, my prevailing thought was how different my life might have been had I been able to drive. The ability to explore areas further than walking distance might have saved me from the shuttered isolation that I felt, and chapters in my life that ended abruptly might have closed more gently.

That said, I can’t regret anything because I am more than content with who I am now, and I wouldn’t be the me I am without those chapters written as they are.

But I would still love to know the other story.

Evergreen branch with new growth

I'm listening

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