Hi. My name is Keshia.
I’m 28 years old, and I don’t have my Driver’s License.
Yes. You read that correctly. I’m knocking on 30’s door, and I have yet to obtain my license to drive. After this morning’s events at the DMV, I think it’s time to let you guys in on my ongoing struggle. Your first question may be, “What’s taken you so long?”. Well. I guess I’ll start from the beginning.
Picture it, Norfolk. 2003. I’m in the 10th grade and I’m learning all about the rules of the road and what it takes to earn a license. I’ve beasted on every written test that was given, and all I need to do is get some road practice. Even though I’m in a low-income household, the school provides a way for me to take a driver’s ed course for free.
I never took the course.
I was under the impression that if I got my license, it would cause my grandmother’s insurance to go up (something that she couldn’t afford) whether I drove her car or not. So, I decided that I’d just wait and get my license later. Well, later came MUCH later.
Later came in 2010. At this point, I’m 22/23 years old and finally make it a point to get my Learner’s Permit. I have had no consistent practice behind the wheel, but I’m going to get that right? Nope. I won’t get any type of practice/guidance/instruction behind the wheel until 2012/2013. My older sister allows me to take the wheel and get on the road a bit. I don’t get to drive too often, so I’m still not as comfortable as I should be while handling a vehicle. Up until this year, all of my driving experience had just been sprinkled in here and there. I had no car to drive regularly to get the experience I really needed.
Fast forward to 2016. I’ve had the opportunity to drive my younger sister’s car and I have a knack for this driving thing now. Boom. I’m ready to get my license. I go to the DMV, I wait 3 hours to take the written test (I’m in North Carolina now and must start from scratch). I sit down to take my test–I’m just all kinds of excited–and before I get to the second question, it happens.
THE WHOLE SYSTEM SHUTS DOWN. No internet. No phones. No test.
It’s ok. I’ll just go to the DMV again later and take the written and road tests in the same day. I’ve got this. Right?
Kinda. I decide to go a different DMV location–hoping for less wait time–and I knock the computer test out of the park. I mean, I’m over there just giving you EVERY correct answer. The time has come, and I’m ready for my road test.
I’m nervous as hell. The instructor looks like the instructor from hell–very intimidating. I get inside the car, and I check all of the vehicle functions. I’m ready to hit to hit the road.
Well, instead of hitting the road, I hit something else. I hit the DO NOT ENTER sign that was directly behind the car as I tried to navigate this one-way parking lot. Man…you should’ve seen it. My DMV audience let out a collective groan as they saw me–a ball of nerves–trying to maneuver the car. Long story short, I failed hard. I never made it out of that parking lot.
Fast forward to today. I’ve had even more driving practice (I LOVE driving on the highway by the way), and I’m going to OWN this road test this time around. I’m making my way down the road, following my instructor’s directions, and on my way back I have a bad feeling. When I went back inside the DMV office, my instructor told me that I had failed. I made a turn that was too wide, and I went past the 35 mph speed limit while coming downhill. (To my credit, I felt the car’s momentum picking up and was braking to bring the speed down, but this was not enough.)
The second failure REALLY pissed me off because I was just fed up with having had so many trips to the DMV in the first place. I’M ALMOST 30!!! Once I calmed down, I was able to see the positives: at least I’d made it out of the parking lot, and at least I knew what I needed to work on. I’m going out of town for a few days, but when I come back, I’m going to give the test a third try. I’m going to leave the nervousness at home, and I’m going to slay the road test. Next week, I will be giving you LICENSED DRIVER REALNESS.
Third time is the charm.
P.S. HELP A HOMIE OUT:
How long did it take you to earn your license? How many times did the fail (if any)? Let me know, and leave some good vibes for my final test!!
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