When I was 17 I tried to learn to drive. Tried.
I was awful, distracted by clouds, scared of roundabouts & spent my lessons in the grip of fear.
So I wrote that off, that was something I couldn’t do. I wasn’t a good driver.
Nearly 10 years on and I still told people ‘I don’t drive, I’m awful at it.’
So you can imagine how I felt on the eve of my first driving lesson in almost a decade; forced to get my butt into gear by a rapidly expiring provisional license.
Well you know what, I totally amazed myself. I drove forwards, changed gears, turned MULTIPLE corners, emerged into main roads & I survived. Not only did I survive, I thought I was actually quite good at it!
But why did I wait so long to give it another go?
One of the main things is that I didn’t realise I had changed as a person quite so much. I’m a lot calmer than I used to be. If I make a mistake or screw up I can just laugh it off; whereas when I was younger I would have panicked, stalled & not wanted to start again.
But I haven’t stalled once.
& I think it’s true for a lot of us, we take our experiences and let them define our future. I was a bad driver and I hated avocado with a passion.
But where in the world would I be if I hadn’t tried avocado on toast with a poached egg at my friend’s insistence – in some alternate hellish universe that’s where!
You are not the same as you were 5 years ago, hell you’re not the same person you were yesterday!
The disservice you do yourself is when you don’t want to admit it.
It sounds corny but it’s all about growth & at the risk of sounding like a self-help guru there’s no point using the past as a yardstick.
Here’s an inspirational picture of me flying a kite
I did that for too long and wrote myself off – when I should have been putting that yardstick in my future and running towards it. That’s how we should measure ourselves, by the aspirations we have and the goals we reach for – not the failings we’ve had or the disappointments endured.
I’m still the kind of person that will rephrase past conversations in my head & regret in retrospect. But I do that less & less now and I don’t think it’s so much age, as it is experience.
I can’t change what I said to someone, just as much as I can’t change the fact I’ve lived almost a decade walking everywhere but I don’t regret any of it now.
Because why should I. What a waste of time that would be.