taking the road


I have a confession to make. For a long time I really had this silly and irrational fear of driving. It started back in the Philippines when I was about 18. My father bought me a brand new stick-shift car. I was very excited, only a few people from my class had a car, and I felt like I could finally prove to myself that I am not as dyspraxic as I thought.

That was until I backed into someone else's car while driving my sister to school. It wasn't even that big of an accident, we were at a hilly intersection and I had a hard time manipulating the stick shift, but it was enough to scar me for awhile. And just like that, my driving days were over.

What followed was a long history of excuses just so I couldn't drive. When I got here in the States, my excuses were a little valid. I was a poor grad student, I couldn't afford a car. My last job was in a non-profit organization and I didn't make much money, ergo I couldn't afford a car. But I also kept postponing my driving test, coming up with a thousand reasons which I couldn't even remember now. My poor friends had to drive me around so much I'm surprised they didn't abandon me then. Although now that I think about it, most of them are also occupational therapists, so they are naturally inclined to help someone with special needs. Like me. Hee.

Finally, last August, I got my driver's license. It was one of those now-or-never things, I was already 26 and I thought that if I wouldn't push myself to face my fears then I'll never be able to drive again. Plus I was sick and tired of waiting and chasing for the bus although I did have some classic stories to tell about the characters that I met using the Torrance Transit.

But why am I telling this story? Well, aside from the fact that only 4 people read this blog so I can make fun of myself and no one will ever read it anyway, I spent the rest of my spring break on the road (a la Jack Keroauc). Yes, I went from 'not driving at all' to 'driving all over the place' in just 7 months. After my weekend in L.A., my friend Irish and I drove all the way to San Francisco, then drove down to
Yosemite National Park and back again to SF in just 4 days. Its funny because eventhough I was absolutely stunned by the beauty of Yosemite, the only thing that I could think about now is the drive to get there and back. Even Irish wrote about it in her blog.

Thousands of feet above sea level, with steep and rugged cliffs all around, it was just us and the winding road. It was the scariest drive of my life but I couldn't help but feel exhilarated. We drove back to SF in time for sunset and watched in awe as the sky changed from blue to orange-red then finally to purple. The changing sky made the mountains look straight out of a fairy tale, and right there, I felt like everything is possible. That if I could do that drive, then I can do whatever it is that my heart sets out to do.

Have a glorious spring everyone! And 'till the next adventure.

2 comments:

  1. Then drive na padung diri! =)

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  2. mao lagi Chris, pero unya na kun dili tugnaw. hehe.

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