Learning To Drive

Peony Candle

I passed my driving test in a silver Ford Focus on March 30th at 11am. My driving instructor’s name was Alex and I’m almost sad I won’t be having any lessons with him anymore. I took 27 lessons, my manoeuvre was a reverse around a corner (actually my favourite one, believe it or not) and I got 2 minors. Alex told me that most people get between 5 and 10 so I was absolutely thrilled with myself.

Learning to drive was complicated for me because I was too anxious to actually book any lessons. In November 2015 I finally started them after wanting to for 4 years. I took them with a man called Ian who is actually the old maths teacher of my mum’s best friend. Between November 2015 and March 2016 I only took 9 lessons. Ian was a very booked up man and I worked shifts between 4am and 10pm, different days every week, and with a rota that sometimes came out the day before I was due in. Booking lessons became a bit of a nightmare.

In March 2016 I hadn’t had my new rota out and Ian didn’t want to book in a lesson that I might have cancelled and when the new rota came, I never got back in touch with him. I did this partly because I will still really, really anxious about my lessons. I dreaded them every single time I had one and sometimes leaving it weeks between made it worse because I totally forgot how to drive. It was like re-learning every time I got in the car.

April 2016 is a long story to come, but I’ll save that for an anniversary that should have been. Long story short, he knew how to drive, he said he’d help me build my confidence, and I put him on the insurance of the car I bought in September 2016 one day before his 23rd birthday. He even booked my theory for me.

I saw him three more times, and never have again. Buckle up for that story because it’s a rollercoaster of emotion.

After realising I’d passed my theory, bought a car and had paid for insurance with nobody to drive it now, I had to start taking my lessons in 5 seconds flat. Everybody was fully booked and then I found Alex. He called me and we arranged for a lesson on October 27th.

It took me a while to get to grips with driving and in February Alex suggested I book my test for the end of March just to give myself a kick up the backside. I started booking in for 2 lessons a week and had 8 weeks to become test ready. My manouevres were totally fine and he wasn’t worried about those at all. It was my ‘forward driving’ that was a problem. I often left it too late to deal with hazards in enough time, I forgot to change gear when I turned corners, I was very hesitant coming out of junctions or moving lanes… the list goes on. About 3 lessons before my test Alex turned to me and said he thinks I’ve definitely got enough to “give it a go.” Well, that put confidence in me like nothing else. In the meantime, my sister’s boyfriend started taking me out for a couple of hours a week in my own car in the dead of night. I couldn’t thank him more for doing that and I don’t think I’d have passed without those explorations of my city.

My test rolled around and nobody knew except me and Alex. I got up in the morning, said goodbye to my mum, and walked back through to door 2 hours later as a qualified driver. She knew it was my test and I have no idea how. She bought me a peony scented candle.

To anybody in Liverpool looking to learn to drive, I couldn’t recommend Alex more. I’ve linked his name with his page of testimonials. He is truly a wonderful teacher.

What I’d give to tell the boy from April that I have finally passed my test. One of the main reasons I bought my car was so I could drive for once instead of him. I felt guilty he was always the driver of me, himself, his friends. Without him I don’t really go anywhere anymore. Maybe now that I’m licensed I’ll have an adventure.






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