I have always been scared of the road, driving and anything related to speed and treacherous bike/car maneuvering on the road. Reason: I had seen so many accidents and did not want to be there. I did not want to drive because I did not want to be caught up in an accident. I had a fear and I did not want to face it ever. Solution: I decided to never learn to drive, that way I will never have to drive anyone around and will not be caught up in any kind of road hassle. I even mentioned to my friends in college -” I am gonna have a chauffeur driven car!!” Lucky enough for me I got married to a man who is extremely careful on the road ( always calculating for his mistakes, the mistakes of others and chance). So you see, I was very safe. He even drove me around everywhere!!
The kindest person that he is, he wanted me to get over my fear and learn driving. He constantly encouraged me and helped me realize that I am in fear and need to get out of it. He even offered to help me learn. After a couple of failed attempts, I finally was ready to learn. Btw, if you are wondering how long this failed attempts took, it took about 4-5 years. Yes you read it right. It took me that much time of coaxing and cajoling to get me to sit at the drivers seat. So after about a month or two of training(these were horrible times for him because I would cry sitting at the driver’s seat!) and more of on big roads, small roads, slopes, traffic etc I learned to drive. I got my license( this is another long story, I hope to write about it some other day). A certified driver! An achievement.
I’ts been about a year and half since I got my license. I drive, not every day, but I drive. At least weekly once. Fast forward. We, three ladies and three kids, are all set to go to Karinji lake (an artificial lake beside our home that also has an aviary). The children all excited and we too are quite excited because it is our first time, first time taking kids to the lake without our husbands. As always, the planner in me planned it all out. The route esp so that we don’t have to make a U turn on that busy/ often unruly road. We leave from home and as we near the lake, I miss the turn (I was so used to going ahead to another location) and now I need to do the U turn ( this time a double ) to get to the lake entrance. U turn one done, and as we were doing the second one, crash. None of us saw that coming. We were slow, and close to the other side of the road. I somehow missed seeing this biker who was overtaking on the wrong side! Anyways. Biker fled from scene. The car lost its bumper. We were all fine. Yes, except for the sound we dint feel anything! God saved the day.
This was followed by expectations of the children crashed(keep my wailing child from my wrath and also calmy explain, what seemed like thousands of questions,to her why we couldn’t make it to the lake), I had to go to the garage (this meant I needed to drive this front bumper-less car after the whole shock), get the insurance claim done (until that point I didn’t know anything about this. I have never even written a cheque. my husband,my all in all, used to do this). So it was a huge learning experience. While handling all of this I had to answer one important question amidst the whole what if I hadn’t missed the gate to what if that guy was not in so much hurry to the n number of questions that were in my head – Will I drive again?
As I pondered on this question one thing was certain, I will not want to go back to all that fear that had been there in me. Yes I will drive again.
What did I gain from this situation?
- I never knew I was capable of handling tough situations. Thanks to God I knew I could.
- I now will use my mirrors – like a million times more before I make a U turn.
- I will avoid at all costs a U turn and rather use a circle,
- I will not resolve to succumb to my fears but will grow stronger with God’s strength.
- Like a wise man once said, we face situations on the road not only due to our faults but also because of others. So I will remember that and try and keep a margin for the errors that might occur due to my driving, due to the people on the road and chance!
On the whole it was a huge learning experience. And I thank God I became stronger as a person. I thank God that I was not overcome by fear, the fear that had been my master for so long!