20 Years Coming

Today, I had something monumental – for me, at any rate – happen.

I passed my road test!

It’s been 20 years since I first got my first learner’s permit (called a three-sixty-five in Ontario at that time, for the number of days that you had to pass the road test), and I’ve finally done it.

It took a wonderful instructor, who has worked with people with Aspergers and autism before, to give me the knowledge, confidence and support necessary to do it; as far as I’m concerned, thanks go to Frank Cody. He really made a difference, explaining things so that I could understand them and working on my confidence. I was nervous and anxious today when I went for the test, but not nearly as nervous as I was the first three times I tried (and failed).

(Thanks also go to my colleagues at the Independent Living Resource Centre, who cheered me on and gave me good wishes before I left to take the test; and to Jeff, my best friend here in St. John’s, who was willing to provide someone different from my parents in the front passenger seat while I practiced.)

So, I’ve finally done it. I’m understandably proud of myself. Now I just have to really get used to the St. John’s streets! 😉

Later, all!

😉 tag0

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7 thoughts on “20 Years Coming

  1. Congrats!

    Now, the thing to do is DRIVE. Go out somewhere away from traffic in good weather and just log miles until you’re truly comfortable – and then do the same in increasingly congested areas. Finally, get someone you trust (or an instructor) to take you to an empty parking lot or similar location in bad weather and let you learn the appropriate car control techniques. Have fun!

  2. ^_^ Congrats on getting your driver’s license. It took me four years after I finished the driving course… I needed road time and I got lost in the shuffle at the driving school. Thankfully I didn’t have to take the class again. I was 24 when I finally started getting actual in-car time and then passed my own road test.

  3. Terrific news! I was 25 when I got my license to drive and people always treat me really strangely when I tell them that. But I think it made me a better driver to get it later.

    Now, just as debirlfan says, log some hours behind the wheel. Start out on calm days during low traffic hours and don’t forget to breathe. When I was a new driver, I drove sitting rock upright, sort of leaned in to the wheel, people teased me for looking like a “granny” when I drove, but it was what felt right for years.

    And when you feel ready for passengers, be really strict that they not make you tense or try to pressure you to do things you don’t feel ready to do yet. Give yourself extra time to get places and develop a calming pre-drive ritual. Mine is to walk around the car, visually checking tires and making sure the license plate is clearly visible, then get in, check all the mirrors, start the car, look at gas gauge and look for warning lights on the dash, take a breath and remind myself where I’m going (I’m actually able to run the while route in my head in an instant. Thank you, brain wiring!)

    May the roads ahead of you be smooth and filled with joyful driving! So terrific for you! You will love your new sense of freedom!

    • *grins*

      I actually went and did two drives out into the country, along the highway, and it improved my grasp of manual / stick shift transmission immensely! I’m now quite comfortable driving (except when dizzy, or really headachy, or something unpleasant like that).

      But yes, being able to go through the route in one’s head definitely helps! And I haven’t yet had passengers other than my parents (individually) and my best friend here in town. Which isn’t much of a change from when I was practicing for my test. So, the first time I have someone else in the car will be a new experience.

      And yeah, I have to sit bolt upright. I found that if the driver’s seat is tilted back even a little, my shoulders and neck end up extremely tense, because of the way I sit. I just have to remember to tilt it back again for Mom and Dad when I get home! 🙂

      *smiles at you*

      Thanks for visiting!

      😉 tag0 / tagAught

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