I put the car in neutral, pull on the handbrake, let go of the pedals and breathe out. Once again I have managed to get from point A to point B without killing anyone, including me, or damaging the car.
Today, it’s raining. Specifically the kind of extremely wet rain that manages to soak you to the bone within a second of you setting foot outside. It’s not torrential, in fact you can barely see it falling, but it is WET. After a doctor’s appointment this morning I had to drive in to work as, of course, there are no trains after 9am. So being already late for work, I took the motorway. Making the decision to program that into the GPS was already a big step, but the “no motorways” option was double the time.
It’s almost a year since I passed the driver’s test, got it first time too. But the moment I got the call and heard that I was now licenced to drive, I felt like sooner or later someone would put a stop to this madness and tell me there was a mistake and no way would I ever be allowed to be in charge of a whole automobile by myself. I mean, it’s a really big thing, with an engine. How am I supposed to be responsible for the whole of that?
As we both commute by public transport, we only drive occasionally, so I drive even less often. Everytime I do I feel like I should be congratulated on arrival for not totally screwing up. Seriously, getting all the way to work – that’s a 45 minute drive, crossing a border and all – feels like I should almost get a congratulatory day off. Getting there by motorway, in the rain and on my own makes me want to grab people by the shirt and scream in their faces “do you not realise what I have ACHIEVED today??”
But no, I’m 36 and nobody realises that it is totally effing insane that I can actually DRIVE. And even sometimes park. Like, inside the lines and everything. It’s just nuts.
It feels a bit like a kind of very specific motoring-centric impostor syndrome. Sooner or later, I figure, someone will discover that I am totally unfit to be put in charge of such a powerful and potentially dangerous machine.
Guess I’d better make the most of it while it lasts then.