Why I don’t want to drive again

As much as I enjoyed the experience and I knew what was right for me; driving an automatic car, I don’t plan to drive a car again.
I have said that it was because of money; knowing I could not afford to run a car and this is true. But it’s not the full reason. I was struggling to the idea of continuing to drive, since the death of my cousin, Sandra and her husband, Michael.
When I failed my second driving test, because I got too close to parked cars, too many times, this examiner also gave me some other feedback about my driving behaviour. Although it hurt and I had not had any conversation of this kind from my driving instructor because he said the total opposite of this, which is obvious that sat navs played a huge part in the way I drove that day. I was originally still determined to have a third test regardless. When I told a family member about this driving instructor, he said it sounds like you had someone like I had years ago. This was described in a way, without adding any swearing to it and said not to let that stop me. I said it didn’t, I just don’t want to get behind the wheel no more since losing my family members. I also refuse to drive while sat navs are part of the test, because I personally would not use one. I don’t want distraction off the road.
But, although not being able to afford to run a car, no matter how I many times I rechecked my budget, even if I could afford it, I rather that money go to a holiday, than running a car. With losing my cousin and her husband to a careless driver, even if I could afford to run a car, I just don’t want to be behind the wheel more so, since losing them. He understood, but I was surprised I had this conversation, as I thought I had made it clear enough I wasn’t driving again. But nevertheless, as I have said before, the driving lessons and the whole experience of it, has not been a waste.

So this is the full reason, why I have no intention of driving again.

No longer having car lesson to pass my test

Following on from last nights post; “Is it worth me doing?” I have decided on no more lessons to try to pass my driving test. A particular person who supported me is fine with my decision after explaining my concerns. I won’t explain those here as I have already done that in the above post linked. So if you have not read that one, then do click on it. But I would like to say in this post, is thank you to my readers who supported me and gave me advice while learning to drive and for following my journey. I have already said my thanks to friends via my Facebook page, but as some of my friends will be reading here too, I will say thank you to you as well here. 🙂 The support you have given, has been much appreciated.

I will not forget the confidence that my driving lessons have given me and I will take that with me. I will also remember at times when at the beginning, I had no faith in my abilities while everyone else did, (including my driving instructor,) before I learnt to have faith in myself. I will remember that faith gained when I eventually got it and the patience from driving instructor. I recommend the driving school that I learnt with, whether you want to learn in an automatic car as I did, or in a manual car.

Is it worth me doing?

My brain is pondering tonight over something, that I have been thinking on and off since the New Year. Except the feeling is stronger tonight. It’s regarding aiming to pass my driving test. I wonder is it really worth doing, trying to pass my automatic driving test, when at the moment there is no way I can afford to run a car? I don’t see a future where I could ever afford a car. It’s not getting me down. So don’t you worry.
Let’s say I aim for a third, by the time I probably get to driving would be 2 years down the line. (If I am lucky to build my hours.) In between passing and officially one day driving for myself, I will have had no more driving experience on the road. That would mean my nerves would get more the better of me again.

Also, I may not be on much hours at the moment, but I don’t worry about money situations as things stand now, because all bills are paid and I manage to save. I live on my own and all bills are my responsibility, so I don’t need to share any costs and it means I have control to reduce costs. I consider myself very lucky.
I got rid of the TV originally to save money towards one day running a car and after no longer getting DLA after my PIP application failed, then there is less money coming in. But I will live and survive. I won’t be in debt and my bills will still get paid, so no worries. But I still want to downsize to a one bed apartment to make things better in the long run.
But if I had a car, (which I could probably afford to run once I am in a one bed apartment, depending on the rent,) I would start to worry about bills. I would manage, but the question how I would manage with cost increases, etc.. I may start to not do things as I do now. That would not be worth it to me, if that happened, because then I would be going backwards and there is no going backwards as far as I am concerned.
I have a disabled bus pass, so after 9.30am during the week as it currently stands, the bus costs me nothing. I have pushed myself to go to new places and increased my confidence in doing so. But already now, I have reduced this because of saving to learn to drive. There is no point me going a long distance somewhere for a day, if I have no money to spend on a cuppa. I need to travel to new places, to keep this confidence up, but I have held this off since my money changes. But my holiday to Brighton I hope to still do this year, that I saved up for before money changes happened. I am determined that this holiday will still happen, because this could be my last holiday while I live where I live.

My home studying has stopped because I put driving first. How long can I keep holding this off? There are lots of assignments and I have not done the first one yet!

So this is why I wonder if should aim for passing my driving test, when in the end it will more likely never get used. A family member said do it while you are young, as it gets harder when you are older. I feel it is already hard on the roads and with losing two family member last year to a car accident, this makes it more the why I am getting where I don’t want to drive.

I can see benefits of driving and I have enjoyed the experience, but also I am used to travelling the way I travel now. I have also had to walk it home before when buses have stopped because of the snow, or because a bus wasn’t running to where I was living at the time, after a certain time at night. Some have squirmed at the idea of me nearly taking 2 hours to walk home at night before because there were no buses and at one time when I could not even afford to pay bus fare. (Before I was deaf and got a bus pass.) I am used to this. I have had to do it.

At the end of the day, in my current situation, I have not had to worry about bills because I have adapted. But I can see being a car driver on part-time wages, living in the right affordable flat, will restrict me more than if I stay as I am. I am already experiencing it now.

Chit-chat and Sharpie Sunday entwined

I thought this post would be a chit-chat and a Sunday Sharpie entwined. Enjoy the read. 🙂

My eyes

I had an appointment at my opticians for another eye test, after finding I could not quite read a full number plate at 20 meters, when I had my assessment with a new driving school I plan to have further lessons with.
Now those who will have followed this blog for some time, will know I had one back in March, in preparation before first starting my driving lessons, as I knew I needed reaction type glasses to help reduce glare and sunlight. This was so I hoped to avoid buying glasses twice in one year, by getting it sorted now, instead of when my test was due. But by the looks of it, I have not managed to avoid this, after discovering I could not quite read a car number plate at 20 meters.
It was only a slight difference I was having, hence this either being missed some how, or my eyes had changed again, slightly. I was finding Q looked like an O for example and what ever was the last three letters on back of a car I failed to read at my assessment. So I needed to check this out, as I did not want to fail my driving test before I even started.
When it came to my eye test, they found there was no change; I met the standard without glasses for driving and with the test with my glasses that was ok too and so I should be able to read a number plate at 20 meters. (I did mention though while looking at the letters with my glasses that although I knew it was an F, the F only looked like one stick sticking out and F was not clear.) After discussing how this 20 meter test was done, it was suggested  the instructor next time does it the proper way as it would be done at an actual driving test, in case any factors affected me reading the number plate how he did it, like glare for example. (Although I did not feel I had any glare.) If I was to find there were still problems, then to come back.

Study

I could not resist and I did start my new course with Stonebridge. Like any course, the more you put in and the more you get out. This course will not be completed as quickly as my courses elsewhere, as I can see there is a lot of work going into this, before I start each of my assignments, to help me do my best and prepare for each assignment.
It’s early days, but I like what I see and I have a lot of enthusiasm brewing and coming out for this course. I am going to be studying on average 10 hours a week, over 5 days, but I am going to have to make sure I do not get too carried away at any point and take my breaks.

My other remaining course I have with BSY where I am near towards the end of, when I last talked about it in a post, I got wrong with how many posts there were left to do. I was thinking there were only 5 lessons in this one, but there were 6. Lesson 4 which I not long received, I received a ‘High Merit” for that one and same again for Lesson 5. By the time this goes to air, I will probably already be working on the final one.

New things

My above course is another new thing for this year of many, but the other new experience that has been challenging, is learning to drive. Finding the manual too stressful as you know and my confidence knocked at the end, I was still not one to give up on driving regardless how I felt. The change is just that it will be in an automatic car instead, as revealed earlier.
This post, “How to deal with starting new things,” over at “Minding Anxiety,” has been an inspiration, by finding the positives out of something new, which in this case, is learning to drive for this sharpie inspired drawing.

sharpie drawing showing my benefits of driving a car

LinkedIn

I decided to continue with my LinkedIn profile and put it on air, since this post; “Chit chat: Has anyone found LinkedIn useful?” where I asked for your opinions on it. Thank you for your input in how you found it. I am obviously not going to be sharing my link here to LinkedIn, with my profile having nothing to do with my blog. See what happens down the line, as to whether I discover new opportunities and I will update it accordingly while continuing to work on the path I have currently chosen.

The path could change

I am enjoying the different learning experiences I have had this year, from mental health courses to driving. I look forward to taking my theory test soon, so I can inform my new instructor of a new driving school the outcome and then also what I choose to do as I learn in an automatic car. This plan still staying the same; I want to do ‘Pass Express’ with them, as I know being in a car more than once a week will be so much better.
I am also starting a new course to learn new things about running a pet-sitting business, but this path could change. Yes, I know I would still like to do this, but giving a date to when I start I cannot give yet as passing my driving test is coming first over any thing and I want to complete my pet sitting course too, because of any new things I may learn from it. I want to be prepared the best I can. But this path could change.
Why? you ask. A few things possibly.
It depends how long to me passing my driving test, then also how long this course could take me. I expect that it could take me till Christmas to finish this, which if that is the case, then my pet sitting business will be on hold till next year. But depending on the work I put into this course, I may find it could be next year before I finish. I certainly don’t want to rush this course and I want to enjoy it, regardless I want to do something different that gives me something to look forward to in my life. But also, when I do buy a car next year, which the plan is to start looking from next May hopefully, then when I have a car, it will open new doors I am hoping and I may look further afield to live and work, so hence my path could change.
The next question you will probably be thinking then is, will won’t you be wasting money on this course if you don’t pursue your dream?
Well no, because I will still enjoy the learning experience and this experience will always be there to start this dream elsewhere if I wanted. I feel I just have options to play with and so my eyes will be looking and I will be doing some thinking with whatever may catch my eye while I learn with this pet-sitting course. If there was a chance I could live somewhere new, with a job to afford to live there and see me do, then I would move there. The pet sitting idea could then be started there, if that was what I wanted to still pursue.

Driving lesson update

Yesterday was my first lesson in an automatic car. But this lesson was actually an assessment, so he could see what I was like driving, once we went over the formalities of how the car worked.
This assessment was for an hour, starting at a quiet place with him not seeing me drive before. Then after doing some driving, we chatted about what I already know, so he knows what practical experiences I have had and how I feel about them. We then drove around through some of those situations so he could assess me some more, heading back towards my area. But before doing that, I learnt how to do a three-point turn. He looked surprised that I had not been taught how to reverse, in the lessons I had so far with the other instructor.
The instructor also used his hands to signal left and right turns, as he said the instructions and at times typed his right leg, which helped me to understand I could take my foot off the brake pedal at that point.
Back across from where I live, another new thing I had a go with not doing it already, was parking in a parking bay. Then it was end of my lesson and he told me how he thought I had done and we chatted about it. He then gave me his suggestion on what he thought I ought to do and that was to consider an intensive course. He reckoned that 20 hours of intensive driving would be what I only needed, to be ready to pass my driving test. He said there are certain things I need to adjust when driving, like breaking a bit earlier one example he told me, but other than that, he said, you drive better than you probably think you do. I told him I am my most worst critic.

As I have a theory test already booked, he said to wait and see how I get on with that before contacting him about booking lessons, which I already said I think it’s time I try something different and go intensive now. Then either way, whether I pass theory or not, contact him and let him know what I want to do and then he would get me booked in.
There would be about a 4 week waiting list, but I was told not to worry about the gap because I’d find it’s like riding a bike. You don’t forget.
But if you did, it does not matter as it can be shown again and you would soon pick it up.
If I did not feel ready to take my test after 20 hours of intensive lessons, then he said the driving test date could be changed.
If I pass my theory test, then the theory they would offer would be deducted off. But if I wasn’t to pass my theory, then I would be able to take up their offer of theory in my intensive lessons.

Although I had anxiety in yesterdays lesson, I could see the positive benefits of driving an automatic, than a manual car. I could see that there would be less distraction for me, with no clutch or gears to play about with and because of that, concentrating better on the road. I noticed, regardless of my anxiety, that at times, I felt laid back in the car, in a way.
I noticed how driving this car was a little different to the other I drove, it felt a bit more touch sensitive, in a way. This was explained that this may be down to this car being newer than the other I had driven.

I now when the time comes to get in contact with this driving instructor and school for my automatic lessons, I will look forward to having my driving lessons again.

How quick did you take to automatic car lessons?

I am trying not to think about Monday evening much, when I have my first automatic driving lesson, since quitting manual lessons. If I do, anxiety creeps in. I am trying to remind myself with positive thoughts of the following:

  • I have a new instructor
  • I am with a new driving school
  • It’s an automatic, not a manual
  • I will enjoy it
  • I will find it easier
  • There is no gears or clutch to worry about
  • So it will be bloody better

As I say, my anxiety creeps in and positive thoughts I am struggling with to try to ease my nerves. So lets hope on the day, I will be much better and back to the beaming smile of accomplishment.

A question for my readers who drive automatic.

How did you get on and did it take long to feel confident driving an automatic car?

Do share any other experiences you can give.

Thank you in advance. 🙂