My 30th year was one full of challenges; challenges that, at times, I felt that I would never be able to overcome. It felt like I was walking uphill through sand and no matter how much I struggled, I could not get my feet underneath me. I would get a few feet, and then the sand would shift and I would tumble head over foot back to the bottom. I wanted to give up a hundred times, but I knew that I couldn’t do that. Giving up is not something I know how to do.
Fortunately, storms do not last forever and seasons change. My 31st year is turning out to be a season of new opportunities. Some of those old challenges are not over; but the slope isn’t as steep and my feet are finally finding purchase. I am starting two new jobs this month; the first as an Administrative Assistant, the second as a blogger for Unlimters, an online marketplace for people with disabilities. I will be writing about the products and services I use in order to live an “unlimited” life. You can check out my posts and the posts from other bloggers here.
However, the most exciting thing I have going right now is I am working on finally getting my driver’s license! While driving has always been a possibility for me, it has also been one of my biggest challenges. I have been working towards getting my license, on and off, for the past 15 years. I have worked with a number of agencies, only to stop over and over again because I couldn’t get enough funding to pay for the number of practice hours I needed.
Then I realized I didn’t need the agency. I’m an adult, my disability does not impair my ability to drive; it only requires a few adaptions. So I bought some portable hand controls and my husband installed them in the car. A friend helped me obtain the rest of the adaptions I needed and on my birthday, I went to the Secretary of State to have my permit renewed.
I have driven four times since getting my permit; three times with my husband and once with my Mother-in-Law. It has not been easy. Today, I drove to the grocery store and home again. I could tell my husband was nervous, and that frazzled me some. I wanted to be perfect for him, I wasn’t. I made the mistakes of any new driver. I had trouble staying in the center of the lane, I took a few turns a little sharp and I had a hard time maintaining my speed. I was so focused on doing it right, making him proud of me, making sure that he believed I could do it, that my brain was going a hundred miles an hour. After I pulled into our driveway and turned off the car, I burst into tears.
I wanted driving to be easy. I wanted to be good at it right away. But driving is hard and I am like any other new driver. Both Tom and my Mother-in-Law said I was better than they expected me to be, and they both are sure that with practice I will get better. Tom says one day it will just click and driving will be natural. I wanted that day to be today, but it wasn’t. I don’t think it will be tomorrow either.
When I set a goal, I tend to sprint toward the finish line, my quilting is a perfect example of this; but I have to accept that accomplishing this goal is going to be a marathon. It is going to take time. But I am determined that this will be the year I finally get my license. It is going to be one of the most triumphant moments of my life; and it will be worth every tear, every mistake and every year I spent getting there.