Failing my Driving Test AGAIN! (And a Metaphor for my Life Explained)

baby, you can drive my car...
The day before my birthday (which was also the day before my ‘N’ expired) I had driving test number 2. And guess what: I failed it again. If I felt bad about failing the first time, I felt even worse after failing the second time. $100 dollars down the drain PLUS another $75 to renew the expired license. Now if I’m going to spend $175 on something, I’d rather it not be on driving tests and licenses.

I really thought I was going to pass this time.  Once again, I wore the shirt I wore bungee jumping (after washing it, of course) in hopes of a courage booster.  Once again, it failed me.  I’m beginning to think the shirt is bad luck – don’t wear shirts you wore bungee jumping.  Anyway, it seems that not even any birthday luck could get me by.

This time my test was in a different city than the first one – a city I had never driven in before. I booked it in this city because it was the only nearby place available and because I was desperate to get my license before it expired (is it completely obvious yet that I have the absolutely wrong motivation?) Honestly though,  it seems a common reason for wanting a driver’s license is freedom and independence or something along those lines…and for some reason, it was never a coming-of-age milestone that I looked forward to.

I remember one time I had this big epiphany.  I realized that maybe I wasn’t scared of driving…maybe I was scared of living.  It suddenly occurred to me that driving was one big metaphor for my life (Yes, I have a thing for metaphors). I was scared of driving the way I was scared to live. I didn’t want be in the driver’s seat. I didn’t trust myself in the driver’s seat – I didn’t know where I was going! (No, but seriously, I have the WORST sense of direction) I didn’t want to have the responsibility of steering my life along a certain path.  I didn’t want to have the keys and be accountable for every wrong turn I made. Life was nice and easy cruising along, looking out the window, and enjoying the view – much nicer and easier than having to pay attention to road signs, and other cars anyway.

In any case, the test went a lot better technically…I didn’t try to turn left on a red light, for starters.   My left turns were  actually pretty good this time- apparently it was my right turns that let me down. “Too wide” or something like that, said the instructor. I proudly turned on the high beam, I got my hand signals correct, I succeeded in changing lanes gracefully (who would have thought!), I drove on the highway (albeit a bit too slow, but he said it was okay) – things were going well. My fatal mistake came when I didn’t realize I had the right of way and so I waited for the other car to go which resulted in the person behind me honking at me. (Yeah, thanks a lot pal!) I guess I forgot I was the captain…

After that, I repeated the mistake of driving too slowly after a school zone. Apparently we don’t all learn from our mistakes. Then the instructor decided to start a conversation and I slowed down even more because apparently multitasking is impossible for me. Finally, I didn’t listen to his instructions properly and went the wrong way but he detoured us back to the parking lot relatively easily. As we pulled into the parking lot, I started to get a little bit excited.  But then I heard the horrible sound of failure:  “Pull in here, don’t back up.”

My heart sunk deeper than the Titanic. Imagine that. He took out the marking sheet.  I sat there half listening to him and half feeling sorry for myself. Then I’m embarrassed to say I started crying. It started with just a few tears in the corners of my eyes which I hastily tried to wipe away with the back of my hand but then they just kept coming, and my lips started to quiver and I had to struggle to compose myself.

My poor instructor. He sat there awkwardly – still trying to explain how to properly do a right turn using this pretty little diagram he had drawn up – and I just sat there wiping my eyes. “You’re not a bad driver,” he told me kindly before getting up to leave.  I didn’t bother explaining that I wasn’t crying about being a bad driver…I was crying because now I have to eventually take the test AGAIN and because I kept thinking about the $175 I just wasted…

I called my dad to come back to the car because I didn’t very well feel like marching my tear-stained face into the office to get him. Then I climbed into the passenger’s seat while I waited for him.  When he returned, he offered to buy me McDonald’s for lunch but I declined because sometimes in life, there are problems even McDonalds can’t fix.  Then I wiped the tears from my eyes and he drove me to work. and that was the end of driving test number 2 .

Third time’s the charm, or so they say…let’s hope they’re right.

 

Kazandra Pangilinan

Kazandra is probably not that different from you. She eats, sleeps,and wonders about how to make the most of this life. This blog is dedicated to the trials and triumphs she has experienced in the process of growing up in her quest to find meaning, connection and happiness.

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