It’s a funny thing how your perspective on freedom changes as you get older. I remember when I was about 14 or 15, my friends would complain that they didn’t have their permit or their license yet (most of my friends were a year or two older than me) and how they wanted to get it so they could go places without their parents driving them there. I honestly didn’t care whichever way. I didn’t mind that my mom and dad drove me places or that I would have to ask people to drive me or that my parents wanted me home by a certain time.
Don’t take this the wrong way, I was/am certainly not the perfect child, but I feel like I missed the part in the book that tells you that you need to rebel against your parents and everything they tell you to do. Maybe it’s because my parents were always pretty chill when it came to curfews and stuff or maybe it’s because I’m the middle child and by the time I got old enough to be of that mind set I had already seen the consequences of it through observing my older siblings.
Also I’m not saying that my friends were wrong or silly or immature (although I mean, come one, they were like 15 or 16, a little immaturity is to be expected in some respects) or that they were selfish for wanting to be “free” from their parents. I’m saying that what we consider freedom, is very different from what freedom actually is.
When you are free, you have to make your own decisions, mistakes, whatever, your parents won’t always be there to help you or to catch you. Being free to go drive somewhere on your own comes with many responsibilities attached and as it turns out, that’s pretty scary. I’m not afraid of responsibilities or having to make decisions, but some aspects of this freedom do scare me.
Driving is one of them.
I know you thought this post was going to be really thought provoking and philosophical, but really it’s just me speculating as to why I am such an anxious person. I can’t get in the car without getting a nervous swishing in my stomach and having my heart pounding against my chest and dropping into that storm in my stomach.
The friends I spoke about earlier, who are pretty grown up now, are very good drivers and they seem totally comfortable driving for long stretches and parking in really tight spots and having the music blaring in the car. I on the other hand, can’t quite seem to reach that point. Even teenagers younger than me are great drivers and can do all the stuff I can’t!
I’d like to blame my overly active imagination. When I get in the car (or even think about having to drive somewhere) my mind immediately flips through every possible scenario for things to go wrong and those awful feelings well up again. I’d like to blame being sheltered by my parents (because I was home schooled yo!) but that doesn’t work either, because if you ever met my parents you’d know that being “sheltered” in my family is a joke! (Love you Mom and Dad :))
Honestly, I guess it’s just nerves…and something else. Something I can’t quite put my finger on. I thought by writing this post, the answer to this question would bloom in my mind, but it still hasn’t. Maybe it’s experience I need? Or confidence? Maybe both of those things? I’m not really sure what, although I do know that I’m okay with letting my parents drive me for now. At least until I figure out what the problem is and conquer it.
Then I think, that’s a really cowardly thing to do. But, what other choice do I have? Continue to be perpetually afraid of driving?
I guess at the end of it all, I’m wondering whether these feelings will fade or if I simply will get use to them. I guess I’ll just have to wait and see.