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© 2019 by Bayonne Hutchinson. 

OVERCOMING FEAR

GETTING MY DRIVER'S LICENSE

DECEMBER 26, 2018

“Okay, this is your last lesson before the big day. How are you feeling?” My driving instructor said to me as I positioned my hand on the gear stick. “Well, you know, I feel a lot more confident than when we first started.”

 

As my alarm went off the next morning I sat slightly nervous in my bed. I pulled the covers off and planted my feet down on the cold bedroom floor. It is raining so much heavier than yesterday. “No big deal, you got this”, I whispered softly.

As I planned out my morning in my head, I began to feel at ease, hopeful and happy about today’s test. First thing first, shower. With my breath held and face Immersed under the flowing water from the showerhead, I replayed all the advice and reminders given to me by my family and driving instructor. I remembered how terrified I was to even start driving. I got my permit at age 16 but it took me years to schedule my road test. What was the reason for my fear and why did I allow it to hold me back so long? Well it was gone now and I’m more than ready I thought.

At 10:25am I rushed out the door but was halted by my husband who asked to walk me to the taxi stand. “Okay, I would love that.” As we cuddled in the rain waiting for the dollar taxi to arrive I got more and more nervous about being late. The time was 10:40am and I needed to be at the driving school for 11:00am.

 

Honk, Honk! I looked over to the left; it was a taxi driver gesturing to get in. With a kiss to the cheek and the words —I love you. I entered the wet and slightly smelly car. As the car pulled off the source of the smell became apparent as the driver conversed with someone on the phone. How could someone’s breath smell that bad? I thought, as I sniffed in the smell of the oil I used in my hands earlier.

“The next corner please!” I quickly handed the driver two dollars and opened up my umbrella as I stepped out onto the busy Jamaica Avenue Street. “Are you here for the road test?” asked the receptionist. She then instructed me to have a sit.

 

Upon waiting to see which of the many instructors that will be taking me to the test site, I asked to use the restroom as my bladder was suddenly filled. The instructor walked in and asked for my permit and 5-hour class certification. I knew this particular instructor because he taught the 5-hour class. I did not understand half of the things he was saying that day because of how fast he spoke and his strong Trinidadian accent.

Again, I said to myself as I realized I needed to use the restroom. “I will be right back;” I hurried to the restroom one last time. All set, I grabbed my umbrella next to my seat and started to walk. While walking out the door I realized that the woman that sat next to me was also going to take her road test today.

 

The instructor provided us with last minute tips and reminders of what to do during the test. 10 minutes later we arrived at the test site. It is now 11:46am and I am scheduled to take my test at 1:15pm. Once again, I realized that I needed to pee. What should I do to pass the time and ignore my bladder? As I jumped from one app to the next, I noticed that the only car in front of us has just started the test. “We are next”, the instructor said.

A few minutes later, the instructor asked us to step out of the car after noticing the DMV instructor approaching the passenger window. It was 12:45 so I knew it was not my time as yet. As I stood out in the rain, I replied back to my family as they wished me blessings on the test. I called my cousin to discuss plans for our film. I then heard, "okay, get ready, hang up the phone." As I said goodbye, the instructor repeated one more time, "hang up the phone", with his strong accent.

 

The car pulled into the parking lot. “When she gets out then you can walk over, Okay”, the instructor said. What is going on, I wondered as I waited for the woman to get out the car for what seemed to be 10 minutes. "Okay, go now", he said. As I quickly walked towards the woman, in a friendly tone she asked if she could hold onto my umbrella for me. She didn’t have any umbrella and it was raining pretty heavily at that point.

As I entered the car I murmured, good afternoon. "What is your name?", the DMV instructor asked. After what felt like 7 minutes worth of waiting as she wrote on her clipboard I tried to operate the windshield wipers with two failed attempts. Okay, I got it. "Please sign your name and date of birth". Done! "Okay, start the car and make your adjustments".

I had a dream a couple of weeks before my test day where I was at the test site and it was my time to start the test. I got into the car and instantly my dream switched to the moment where I completed my test. The DMV instructor walked up to me at the end and said, “Congratulations! You passed,” then I woke up.

“There is no illusion greater than fear”—Lao Tzu