Guess who got her driver’s license this week?!? MEEEEEE!!!
You’re probably wondering why I’m just getting it now, at 19, and not right out of the gate… Well, when I was 15 ½ (Old enough to get my Learner’s Permit), I was getting signed to Warner Bros Records. Then at 16 through age 17, I was on Idol getting chauffeured around (Which was pretty cool I must say 🙂 – “Oh there’s a car for you out back” 😀 LOVE). Then I went on tour from age 17 through (the beginning of) 18. The next few months, I was recording and constantly working, non-stop, and was hardly even going out anywhere because I needed to embrace my inner Hermit Crab. Now, here we are in present day – I got my Learner’s Permit about 3 months ago, and 2 days ago I took my first driving test and PASSED!!! So as you can see, it was never NECESSARY to get my license until now, so I just never got around to it.
Ok, and, I have a confession to make. I don’t get nervous singing in front of thousands, or pretty much anything that most people would cringe at the mere thought of, but I get REALLY nervous with tests. ANY kind of test and I’m so nervous I can barely stand up. It’s terrible. I can study and practice so much that I could literally repeat things sleeping, but as soon as I realize I’m being tested – I PANIC. So I was also kind of putting off getting my Permit and License because I knew I’d have to endure a lot of tests… :-/
So here’s what happened. As I was driving to my test with my parents, (in SUNNY California) the sky clouded up and it started raining. Literally the second time in 6 months, of all days. And it didn’t help that I just started reading the book, “H2O” which is about this post-apocalyptic world where practically everyone dies because of the rain being toxic and deadly. So that helped my nerves. 😉 I got there, checked in and waited in a designated spot. As soon as my instructor walked up to my car (well my parents car TBH), I couldn’t comprehend a word he was saying. “Blinkers” – I stared at the wheel in front of me, my mind COMPLETELY BLANK, and after a while, turned on my blinkers. “You don’t have to turn them on, just point.” Oh, ok. “Horn” I definitely knew this one. “Left Turn signal” I stared blankly at him, my mind so filled with nerves that I actually COULDN’T understand what he was saying. He said it 2 more times, about to mark a ding when I practically yelled out that I had it, I was so proud of myself. OMG. And then, I looked to my left and peering through the window were both of my parents, grinning with this hysterical look on their faces (like that look when proud parents hold up signs at a ball game and are telling everyone around them, “That’s MY daughter out there!!!”). I nearly died. Now, not only was I shaking from nerves, now my ‘I have to impress them’ instincts revved up. I took a really long deep breath and calmed down as much as I could. I got through the initial pre – check list, and he got in. I had one more goofball moment where I tried to pull forward without turning the car on – OMG – SO EMBARRASSING. But the second I pulled out of the driveway, I knew that I had to get ahold of myself entirely, not only for myself and my licence, but for the safety of others around me. I took another deep breath and zoned in on the task at hand. It’s just like what I’ve been doing everyday for months. I can do this. I drove.
After what seemed like under 10 minutes, he told me to turn back into the DMV. I panicked, because I had been told multiple times that it would take a long time, some people had even told me that they were on the road for 30 minutes! So, of course, my knee jerk reaction to that sentence was that I had failed miserably and we were returning because I had been so terrible. I knew I had made 2 small errors, to which I was so mad that I did the second it happened, but as I pulled in to park I started second guessing every single decision I had made on the road. Wait – were you supposed to stop at a stop sign for 2 seconds or 3? Did I go TOO slow through that school zone? Should I have stopped so that I could see the wheels of the car or the pavement below? I couldn’t remember what they recommended. Meanwhile, the tester is telling me my areas of improvement, and suddenly I hear him say (through my racing thoughts), “You’re a really safe driver though overall”. Now I completely tune in and I wait for the “But you didn’t pass today” – and instead he says, “Congratulations, you passed!”!!! I actually had him repeat it 2 more times saying, “I passed?”, “Really?”, before I took yes for an answer! LOL. I thought that for sure my nerves had caused me to fail, but they didn’t and I got my license!!!
So, for those of you who get test anxiety, like me, just believe in yourself and you can achieve anything you set your mind to. (Also, try deep breathing – it’s literally the only thing that helps me!!!)
I’m so excited to be on the road, and I wanted to let you know that I’ve taken the pledge to not text and drive, because distracted driving is a VERY serious issue and I value my life and the lives of others WAY too much for something as small as a text. Here’s a crazy statistic for you; those who text while driving are 23 times more likely to be in a crash. So please, take the pledge today and STICK to the promise you’re making to yourself and others. If you HAVE to get in contact with someone while driving, either ask a companion you may be traveling with to do it for you, or pull over. No text is worth someone’s life. 🙂
Alright, that’s all folks! Until next time! Safe driving!