Tuesday, April 28, 2009

I learned to drive the old-fashioned way - my parents taught me. I remember getting my learner's permit at 14. I wore a red sweater because my mother told me the background was blue. Too bad for me the background for the learner's permit was red. That was not my best photo.

Most of my early driving lessons took place in the biggest park in town. It had a nice, big parking lot that was usually pretty vacant, and a little, windy park road that is maybe a quarter of a mile long. Top speed on that road should be about 20 mph. That road had a curve that I just couldn't master. If I wanted to stay within my lane, I had to slow down to about 10. I felt like I was never going to get it. Well, of course I did get it, and as a big girl driver, I can handle curves without slowing down to single digits.

Today, I took the scenic route home. (In a sad repeat from last week, I had to drive myself because I left my purse at home. I don't think I have ever forgotten my purse before!) It's a pretty curvy road. As I took a big curve without slowing down - not recklessly, just controlled - the image of 14 year-old me trying so hard to figure out that curve came to mind. I hadn't thought about that in years, but today I remembered how I struggled to hit that curve in Cico Park and how frustrating that was to 14 year-old me. I just wanted to be a cool grown-up already, one who could handle whatever curves life threw at her.

I'm pretty sure 14 year-old me would think 30-something me is a badass.

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