I have an admission to make. But not an admission, because admissions sound like I did something wrong.
I waited until this school year to get my license. I was a 20-year-old without a license. Not to say I couldn’t drive at all, but I still had that beginner’s fear every time I got in the car. Plus I didn’t have a desire to drive. My life just seemed to work without it. Originally I would go to college in Boston and the world would be mine via the subway! I love public transportation. I feel independent but also connected to the world around me.
Not having a license or a car has made me different; running from one thing to another is an adrenaline rush and public transportation adds to that.
However, the time came last winter when I knew 2012 would need to be the year of getting a license. My grandmother this past summer told me I should take a driving class and she wanted to pay for it.
One Saturday morning I got up early and made the first step. I went to a defense driving class surrounded by 15 year olds with parents that dropped them off and older adults looking to save a few points on their license. There I was in the middle, not fitting into either.
Then I took driving classes in a car decorated with “student driver” all over it. My instructor would have me drive around parts of Tallahassee I never knew of and asked me about life and school. He would have me practice the same lesson repeatedly, sometimes with my lack of patience getting the best of me.
My friend Michelle needed to renew her license, so we decided to go to the dmv together. As I took my driving test I tried to remember patience. In reversing the car I tried the proper move of putting my right hand on the back of the passenger’s headrest, accidently grabbing my instructor’s hair. Oops. When parking “uphill,” seeing the instructor flip his clipboard to write led to me repeatedly thinking, “What are you writing? What did I do wrong? What are you writing??”
But in the end I passed.
I still run errands around town on the Tallahassee Star Metro and I think about the woman who tells me as I get off the bus at work every morning “God bless you,” or “Have a great weekend,” even if in the middle of reading.
I think about the many friends I’ve been able to help learn the bus system when they didn’t have cars or their cars broke down but they wanted to start an internship or go to work.
I think of the children and parents I see every morning as I commute to work. These children discovering the world and themselves and their parents full of hope for them. Still in the beginning of their journey.
My license I can use in furthering my life when it comes to possibly one day traveling for work or helping a friend out one night. But public transportation exposes me to the world around me. It makes me think about my life. Both help me as I take on the world and try to make it a little better because I Was Here.
Find a license. Find the world. Find Roots.
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