I won't sit here and pretend that going through high school and college and the summers in between without the independence of driving a car was the most enjoyable. However, I will suggest that the disappointment of failing my road test by 10 points freshman year of college has proven to be the biggest blessing in disguise.
How did this unfortunate predicament serve me in my future, you may ask? Well, let's consider relationships.
It is true that those who truly care about you and want the best for you will stick by your side, despite the toughest of times. For me, it was those years that I was essentially bound to the shackles of my home or dorm because the idea of retaking my road test and not passing was truly paralyzing and caused spiraling mental breakdowns.
For this reason, I knew that it was up to me to decide when I was ready to take my road test, even if it meant years after all my friends.
While in a relationship in college, it became clear to me that my partner began to treat me as a burden for not having the freedom of driving myself to see him. And at the time I felt ashamed and agreed that I was a burden. I knew deep down that it was not normal to have such crippling anxiety about driving, yet here I was grasping for him to understand that I wasn't ready to drive. And if I could simply take a pill that would give me a callous and confident attitude towards driving, I would take it without thinking.
As time passed I also saw a friendship that became strained because I couldn't return the favor of driving her to places such as the grocery store or the library. After hearing "Ugh, I always have to drive you around" one time from this friend, it dawned on me that she and my ex-lover weren't meant to remain in my life. This realization has resurfaced this year when I began dating a different guy who lived even further away than the one before, and never once gave me a hard time about driving to my house just to spend the day with myself and my family.
Now as a 21-year-old, I reminisce on these growing pains, and I remind myself that life isn't always about reciprocating a favor, it's about helping others for the sake of being a good person.
Furthermore, I don't know many things for certain, except that moving through life's milestones at one's pace is more important than succeeding on time.
And if they love you, they will go the distance.