Not long after I came here, I learnt to drive. It took me three attempts before I passed the driving test.
I’m an anxious driver, and I don’t drive very often because of it. I’m worried that I’m going to make a mistake, to cause an accident, or have an accident. Unfortunately, being nervous behind the wheel makes you more likely to actually have the accident you’re worried about, which in turn makes you more nervous. I think the human expression for this is a vicious cycle.
I’ve always been quite an anxious being, but since coming to Earth, it has been much greater. There’s an awful lot of things here that can induce anxiety.
To be honest, I’m still surprised that I passed the test at all. Not because I think I am a bad driver, but because driving is a pretty big skill to have; it allows you to go so many more places on the planet (providing there are roads to get there. Unless you have a time machine upgraded in the 21st Century, in which case, you don’t need roads* ), and thus, it surprises me that I was able to obtain the skill.
Recently though, I have been expanding my driving radius and venturing further afield. This has been an exciting process, but also a scary one. Sometimes I have a good trip, which boosts my confidence and sets me up well for the next outing. And sometimes I have a not so good trip, marred with errors and mistakes, which sets me up badly for the next outing.
I find it easy to dwell on the bad things that occurred whilst driving, and tend to forget the good things. I know this is a negative way of thinking, and not conducive to progress, and thus, I need to amend that.
Last week, on one of the not so good driving days, I stalled the car twice. I never normally stall the car at all, so this put me in a negative, put-down state straight away.
When leaving a car park, I checked both ways when turning a corner, and another car honked loudly at me. I don’t know where that car was when I first looked, but I definitely didn’t see it. This unsettled me a lot; what if I didn’t see a car when on the main roads? That could be much more dangerous than in a car park.
Still, I had to get back home, so I did my best to remain composed and not get worked up if I made a bit of mistake, and you know what? I heard three other car honks to other drivers somewhere on the nearby roads as I was on my return journey, and that made me feel better.
It’s only human to make mistakes, and by making them, I am no different than the residents of this planet.
So, instead of worrying about my mistakes and not wanting to go out again in case I made another, I learnt from them. I learnt that I need to be a bit more observant at times; I learnt that sometimes you’ll have a bad day, and sometimes a good; I learnt that it’s best to learn from the bad, but remember the good. And I learnt that I have one more similarity to Earthlings, and that’s that we all make mistakes.
* This was a reference to the 1980s film Back to the Future. I’m learning about pop culture and I’ve been told that quoting lines from popular movies is something that humans do for fun.