No, I’m not saying I failed my student drivers test. Although I should have. I was an EXTREMELY nervous driver when I first started out. So much so that I didn’t get my license until I was seventeen.
To me, driving was like playing Russian Roulette and I really didn’t want to lose. So during my first six months after getting my license, until I was comfortable (MAKE NOTE, I no longer drive like this, it’s been many years and I’ve done a ton of driving since then) I would drive well below the speed limit, obeyed the rules to a T, and refused to pass a single car, no matter how slow they drove. I did whatever it took to feel safe behind the wheel, because the last thing I needed was a mental breakdown in the middle of the highway.
Well, I was bound to mess up eventually, and when I did, I did it royally.
It had to be a Sunday morning, in a busy parking lot that not only belongs to our massive church but also doubles as the grocery store parking lot next door. Cars everywhere.
I moved in for a parking spot, and–with my heart pounding and palms sweating–I did the stupidest thing my mind could possibly think of. I followed the car in front of me and parked immediately beside them.
Now, this wouldn’t be so bad if the parking spot wasn’t in a corner. Listen closely.
Imagine a ninety degree angle created by railroad ties, this was the outline of the corner of the parking lot. The other car parked going straight toward (what we’ll call) side A. Naturally, people would leave a couple empty spots along side B, so that side A cars can back out. If you’re picturing this correctly, you’ll see a corner that shouldn’t be parked in because no car can fit and no car can get out.
Guess who got in that corner?
Yours truly. Somehow I had managed to swing my tiny Ford Taurus into a spot so tight that I wouldn’t be able to open neither my driver nor passenger doors but a few inches (keep in mind that I have two passengers in the car with me.) And neither could the poor, young boy in the car beside me get out.
I’ll never forget the look in his eyes when he saw me pull in there. It was a mixture between shock and “is this real life?”
Don’t ask me how, but–only when I realized I’d made one of the dumbest choices of my life–with the help of my dad who had driven another vehicle with the other half of my family, I was able to maneuver myself out of there without a single hint of public damage. I chose a more reasonable parking space, wiped the sweat pouring down my face, and went on about my day as if nothing had ever happened.
Don’t worry. It was humiliating, but I survived.
So the next time you do something that is even remotely embarrassing, don’t think twice about it. Shake it off. Don’t let it get to you. We all mess up. Even the most “together” person that you can possibly think of has had a paralyzing moment of insanity that still haunts them to this day. We’re human. It’s part of the job requirement. 🙂
Don’t be surprised when I say this isn’t the end of my student driver fails. There will be more to come. 😉