May 30, 2010


“The car has become a secular sanctuary for the individual, his shrine to the self, his mobile Walden Pond.” ~Edward McDonagh

I’m suddenly going to fast, I can’t control it. The tires race underneath me as they hit the hot asphalt; they, unlike me, have a need for speed. The wind turns from a comforting breeze to a whirlwind of confusion. The scream coming from the passenger seat gets confused with my thoughts. Then there’s a sudden thump. All I can think of is the poor animal that I surely hit, but I’m to afraid to turn around and check. As my dad reached for the wheel I figure out that I didn’t hit anything other than the sidewalk. “Brake!” is all I here from my dad, and I comply with his desires.

Even thou I turned sixteen about five months ago, it wasn’t until last month that my parents got annoyed enough by me and decided to finally teach me how to drive. What I thought of driving, before I actually tried it, was that it was very easy. All you really had to do was turn the wheel when there is a turn, push the break when you want to slow down, and slam on the gas when you want to go really fast.

But I was wrong, deeply and stupidly wrong. As I stepped inside the driver’s seat for the first time, I felt the wheels spinning under me. The power of the engine as it roared when I pushed the gas. I was too afraid to unlock the hand break, because I thought I was going to crash with invisible obstacles. Then there was the added pressure of pressing the clutch and changing gears. All that was running through my mind was how confusing everything was. And to top it all of I had to put with my parents incessant instruction. During those first lessons I felt the urge to buy duct tape and shutting their mouths as long as I was only wheel.

I was ready to quit. As I hit a couple of bumps before getting it right. My only major accident so far was running into a side walk. For most it wouldn’t be much, but since it was my first time driving I was completely terrified. Ever since, I’ve completely avoided side walks, and manage to learn fairly well.

After various lessons I got really good, and this got me thinking. I like being in control, deciding for myself what I wanted to do. As if I was running the world, nothing mattered more than what I wanted, where I wanted to go. That’s how I want to live; I decide what I want to do and how I want to run my life. I want to be able to really put that duct tape over their mouths, and stop listening to what they order me and decide for my self.

My next time behind the wheel, will be the first time I’m by my self. What I hope I can do is show everybody that I can so things my way and nothing is going to happen. The world isn’t going to come crashing down, because a girl who has to go off to college in a year decided to start taking responsibility for herself. Driving has given my courage and a new level of independence that makes me feel unbelievable. Finally I feel like I can tell the world and my parents, what I think and it’s all that matters.

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