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License to drive

Heather R. Breaux -   Feb 15, 2007

About six months ago, the transmission in my car went kaput and I was stuck with no transportation while it was in the repair shop.

That meant I had to find a way back and forth from my house to work for almost three weeks.

My sister was visiting her fiancť in Canada, so my parents told me that if I learned how to drive her car, then I could borrow it until mine was fixed.

It was a temporary solution to my problem - one that I knew was motivated by a just few days of my parents picking me up and shuffling me around.

This wasnít their idea of everyday fun. They had a life, too, you know.

Youíre probably wondering why I needed to learn how to drive her car in the first place.

You see, I have driven only automatic vehicles and never bothered to learn the ins and outs of a standard transmission, which her car had.

Friends have always told me it was easy to learn and something that I needed to know how to do.

They said you never know when youíll be in a situation where youíll have to take over the wheel.

So, I agreed to give it a shot and the lessons began.

Obviously I was nervous the first time and the flashbacks of being 15 and practicing for my driverís license came rushing into my head.

With my mom and dad taking turns in the passenger seat, I put my foot on the clutch, put the car into reverse, rolled out the drive way and killed the engine in the middle of the street.

I knew immediately that this car was going to overpower my confidence and I wasnít sure I could achieve success.

I calmly started the car again and after 20 minutes of driving around the neighborhood, I started to think that it wasnít going to be that bad.

My first day of practice was a good one and my parents were surprised at how fast I caught on, but the next day is when all the trouble began.

I had to get comfortable driving in traffic on the highway, but my nerves kicked in and I found myself on the shoulder with tears streaming down my face.

Driving a standard wasnít for me and half way down Highway 90 was the farthest I went.

I am not sure if I will ever learn to master a standard, but I gave it a shot and learned a valuable lesson: some things just arenít for me and Iíll stick to what I know.

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