I'm almost 19 years old, yet it was only yesterday that I FINALLY passed my driver's test to become a licensed driver in the state of California. It has not been an easy road to get here. Most normal Americans get their license the second they turn 16, but unfortunately, I'm not normal. Here's the long process of why it took me until June 3rd, 2013 to do what should have happened October 2nd, 2010.
a) I lived in Germany until I was 17. In Germany you can't get a license until you are 18, and even when you are 18, most people don't do it because it costs thousands of dollars (hence why Germans are such fantastic drivers). I would sometimes practice driving my parent's car in German parking lots though, but all that taught me was how to go about 15 mph in circles. Super helpful.
b) When I moved back to the States I was about 4 months shy of turning 18. When you're under 18, you have to spend about $300 on driving lessons before you're allowed to even get a permit (not sure if that's just a CA thing or if it's everywhere). So I decided it was smarter just to save the money and wait until I turned 18.
c) Was finally 18, and came home for thanksgiving break and passed the permit test with flying colors. I started driving everywhere, and only almost killed my family three times. Ok, maybe four.
d) I Kept putting off getting my actual license because once I got I a license and not just a permit, I would not longer be insured for free. And who wants to pay for insurance?!? Not me. First I was going to get my license over Christmas break, then Spring break, but finally just decided summer would be fine.
e) Scheduled an appointment for 2 weeks after I got home from college, and was positive I would pass. I didn't even question it. Like who doesn't pass their driving test??
f) Um me. That's who.
g) It was stupid, and the lady wasn't even slightly nice to me about failing. Apparently I turned a little bit into a bike lane when I was making a right turn. Everyone does it, so I didn't even know that was illegal. Well. Now I do.
h) All of the DMV's near us were fully booked for driving appointments for the next century. I was so frustrated and their website wasn't working to schedule anything. Finally my mom was able to call someone at the DMV and get me an appointment for the next week.
i) I failed. Again. I don't even want to go into the reason, because it's kinda hard to explain, and it was such a silly mistake that I never would have made in real life. I guess the nerves of the test made me lose focus. Actually, I'd like to blame it on the 400 pound man giving me the test. With the seat pushed all the way back and leaned all the way back he could still barely get his seatbelt on and could barely shut the door. It was awkward. I just pretended like I didn't notice, but I obviously did. He was struggling big time. So that is why I failed. Fat man distracted me.
j) Made YET ANOTHER appointment. Since we only have one car, and my mom already had plans to be gone with it for a few days during which I had to take my test, we arranged to borrow my sister's car that day. It was such an ordeal too, because my dad had to bike out to my sister's house and get the car the night before and then my sister and her husband had to share their other car for work that day. The pressure was on for me to pass this time because everyone had to go out of their way for me to be able to take this test. I knew I just had to pass this time though. Third time's a charm, right??
k) Apparently whoever came up with that stupid saying was on crack, because no, the third time is never a charm. I failed before even getting out of the parking lot. That takes skill. It wasn't my fault, and technically not considered a fail, but I consider any time having to go to the DMV and leave without a license a fail. What happened was that before every test, they check your car to make sure basic things like blinkers and brakes are working. Well, guess who's brake lights weren't working. Yep, mine. BOTH OF THEM. Who has 2 brake lights out at once?? So I wasn't even allowed to take the test. My sister felt so bad since it was her car, but it was fine. I mean, if it all wasn't so frustrating, it'd almost be funny.
l) Another appointment was scheduled and I was the opposite of confident about it. All I'd known so far was FAIL, FAIL, FAIL, so why would this time be any different? He did the car inspection, and guess what? One of my brake lights was out. I had a mini heart attack when he told me that. Thankfully, you can still take your test if one is out, just not if both are. The guy giving me the test was SO friendly though, and basically just talked to me the whole time about my life, which settled my nerves a lot. About 2 minutes into the test, he asked me to pull over. I was positive I had just made some unforgivable error, and I was yet again a failure. He just wanted me to show him that I could back up straight along a curve. I backed that car up like nobody's business. We continued with the rest of the test and...
m) I PASSED. I couldn't believe it. He said the only thing I really did wrong was that I was going too slow a lot of the time. Oops. I guess I was being overly careful.
So there ya have it. Moral(s) of the story:
1. The DMV sucks. Avoid it at all costs.
2. Be persistent when you face failure and disappointment. You can't fail forever.
Unless you're trying to get a date with Ryan Gosling. Then yes, you will probably fail forever. Give up now.