It’s been just over 4 years since I last drove a car, which is just crazy to think that amount of time has passed.
During my time at 6th Form, it became ‘the thing’ to start learning to drive. Everyone was practising their theory tests with one another, and one after the other, they were all passing their tests!
I was one of the later ones to actually jump on the bandwagon, eventually passing my practical in November 2013. By January 2014 I had my very first car! Meet Pip the Peugeot! I felt so comfortable driving around, and the freedom I had with it was amazing. I could drive to work, to see Martin and Lily, be the designated driver (or just taxi.) The world opened up for me and I gained so much more independence.
I loved my little red car, I zipped round town, feeling like the bees knees in it! Listening to my iPod which was connected through a tape converter (yes the car was that old it had a tape player in it) and begrudgingly paying the extortionate insurance for it.
I didn’t have the car for long though, (literally about 6 months.) I had planned to go to university that year, so I took it off the road to save money for uni instead…which made sense at the time. After just 2 months I left uni and moved in with Martin and Lily – jobless and moneyless so I wasn’t able to afford to get a car back on the road.
Alongside going to university, just before giving up the car to save, I had a little scare on the way to work one morning where my car aquaplaned and almost hit a big ‘welcome’ sign. At the time i had no idea what was going on and I freaked out, called my mum at 6am in the morning in tears and refused to drive my car home after work.
I went back the next day to pick up my car and drive it home, but it really shook me, and I hardly drove after it happened. Not a week later when my mum drove me to work did we have another accident on the same piece of road. This time my mums car skidded and turned 180 degrees halfway down the road!
Obviously time went on, I moved in with Martin and Lily, Martin found a job and I fell pregnant with William. We couldn’t afford 2 cars on the road, so we decided it made more sense for Martin to learn to drive and get a car as it would benefit his work and he’d be able to drive us home from the hospital.
So why has it taken 4 years for me to get back on the road? Money still played a factor in it, but my main problem now was my confidence. I’d left driving after my little scare and hadn’t gone back to it since. I now also had 2 children in tow which worried me even more!
So I left it, and my confidence with driving was at the lowest it could be. When I was heavily pregnant with Rubeon, I had a refresher lesson with my old driving instructor, but I was still really uncomfortable driving. (It perhaps wasn’t the best time to try and get on the road again, but I wanted to drive about after he was born.) Unfortunately with all the following events with Rubeon, driving was put to the side until this year.
I have a great friend who works with cars, and at the start of the year, he told me he had a car sitting and waiting for me, all I had to do was get it insured, taxed and MOT’d. For one reason or another, I kept putting it off, and before I knew it, March became July and I still wasn’t on the road! I made excuse after excuse as to why I couldn’t get the car, but in all honesty I was just scared and totally not confident about driving again.
So on Rubeons first birthday, I finally did it! Martin took me to get my car. I finished all the necessary paperwork and got it road worthy, and the rest as they say is history! I refused to drive with the kids in the car initially, just to get my bearings with it and build my confidence back up, but within a week or two I had the car seats plugged in and off we went!
I look back and wonder what on Earth I was worried about, but I know at the time I wasn’t ready. I can’t imagine being without a car now! The freedom is once again incredible. I’ve driven to oxford and london, even to Rubeons hospital appointments at Cambridge, and the best bit is we can pop round to see the family whenever we like now! (And I can use my emergency seatbelt holder which has all our emergency info in should anything happen!)
My confidence is back and stronger than 4 years ago and I’m loving being behind the wheel again, and I know the kids love it too!