I began a new adventure of self-development and fear-overcoming a few months ago. I resolved to break the trauma bond and go straight to the real me, the bold and powerful me who doesn’t say „NO” to a true challenge.
One of my long-held aspirations was to learn how to drive. I wanted to see if this was something I could accomplish, and I desired to be free, able to move places, and be there for the people in my life, no matter the distance.
At the beginning of this year, I buckled up, went through the rigors of Romania’s statutory driving process, and began the driving journey. I didn’t know where to start in terms of bureaucracy, but the fire in my heart was so intense that day by day I came to discover new things about how it should be done.
I soon found a reliable driving school that helped me achieve my objective, Ovasal. After finishing the paperwork I began attending theoretical driving courses, studying intensively, and completing questionnaires. The next step was to find a professional driving instructor to provide practical training.
I heard a good friend mention a great instructor a few months ago, but to be honest, I didn’t pay much attention and merely nodded in approval. When I returned to the driving school and saw the instructor, I realized this was the person my colleague was referring to and that this was the appropriate path.
Adventure is worthwhile in itself
I can’t express how terrified and anxious I felt the first time I got into the driver’s seat. It’s one thing to read about it in books; it’s another to experience it directly. Quotes describe driving as „learning to dance with a chainsaw,” and my first hour felt like mine was on fire. I was frightened since I didn’t know how to manage it or ensure I was doing the correct thing. I’ve seen people get into vehicles and drive before, but I never imagined it would be that challenging.
I’ve made numerous mistakes, and my teacher was intrigued by my lack of direction and understanding of how to apply what I’d learned in theory. My first 10+ hours were a complete disaster; I felt humiliated for not being able to perform at my best and deliver. I’ve gone through every stage of dread and doubted myself several times.
My hours would often begin with me getting ready to drive and my instructor doing her best to apply discipline and guide me to wake up and stand up for myself in traffic. Nobody was operating this item we name a car, and here I was standing like a fool in a chair, set up with everything required to drive, yet letting fear get the best of me.
I’ve laughed at my demons, gathered my breath in time, and learned to grow gradually, sharpening my reflexes. Every driving class taught me something new, and every day was a chance to confront fear in its face and tell it to buzz off. I didn’t know much about driving at first, but I was confident in my vision and knew I was capable of realizing it, and that no dream is too difficult to fulfill if your heart believes in it.
A good teacher is like a candle—it consumes itself to light the way for others
My instructor, Rodica Cusnir, was one of the people who helped make my dream a reality. I was irritated by the way she marked every blunder and made me feel bad about myself, but gradually, I improved my driving abilities and gained confidence. I understood she wasn’t furious with me but rather that she was trying to build a new person and perform her job. I’ve never seen somebody so committed to educating someone, so disciplined and professional, in my whole life.
This dawned on me today when I turned right while approaching the junction for my practical exam. The officer conducting the examination was silent, but in my head, I heard her instructions and felt her every attempt to make me pay attention to the road and follow the rules.
In the end…
Today was the last day, and I passed the practical exam. This experience wasn’t what I expected, it came out a thousand times better, and the adventure was well worth it. It taught me to be patient, disciplined, alert, and to live in the present moment, as well as a new ability that I will use for the rest of my life. I’m not saying I’m a skilled driver yet; I still have a long way to go, but I’m confident that with the assistance I’ve had so far, I’ll get to where I’m supposed to be and be of service to the people in my life.
I’m grateful to God for the passion within me, as well as for the people in my life who made this possible: to my teacher Rodica, for being the great amazing teacher and woman that she is, and to my partner for taking the time to share some long added driving experience, to my friends for their support, and to my workplace for understanding and allowing me to complete my dream.