Tuesday, 12 May 2009

A new era

I was going blog the other day; I went as far as writing the post, and even revising it, but after a few hours I changed my mind. It was a very depressed/depressive, whingeing post in which I complained about a variety of objectively rather minor issues with great enojoyance of the wallowing in self-pity. I'm glad I didn't - although it is true that there were little things that were getting me down, and I was feeling rather emotionally drained for a variety of reasons, I need to stick with my intention of keeping this a cheerful blog, and also apply some non-Italian reserve and avoid airing my dirty laundry in public.

ANYway, the title of the post refers to a Very, Very Important Event that has occurred in the intervening time between the last post and now: I have a car! I can drive it! AND as of tomorrow I will be driving myself to work! It's crazy how everything has happened in the space of a week - I bought it last Saturday having contacted the seller only the afternoon of the Friday; I got the paperwork sorted early in the week; had my last 4 hours of lessons; and now it's all go!

Actually, it wasn't quite so breezy as that - my second driving lesson was a bit dispiriting, as the instructor had to keep telling me to be more confident on turns, be faster, not upset the flow of traffic, and generally be a bit more aggressive and trusting in myself. So I left that lesson feeling that all the skill in parking and easing out of my crazy driveway was useless if I never had the balls to drive properly.

Everyone was very comforting and pointed out that I had only been driving for 4 hours and I couldn't expect perfection straight away, but of course that didn't prevent me from developing all sorts of panic and stress two hours before my lesson today. But! The instructor immediately boosted my confidence by suggesting that we drive in my car instead of his --> i.e. with no double pedals! That alone made me feel a lot better about my driving, and though it was still by no means perfect, he thinks I'm ok to drive myself to work...so by the time you will have read this, I will have done my first solo commute!

I still can't quite believe this is happening - that I have a car, and that I can be in control of my life, and my schedule, and be FREE to go to people's houses, go to the mall, go to whatever supermarket I want, and all the hallmarks of a normal Princetonian life that I have had to miss out on until now. It's just so so exciting. That, combined with the steadily lovely weather, and the upcoming visits from various people (and one just past - I saw Laura last week!), and the fact that I am managing to stick to my plan to cook delicious meals even if just for myself, makes me really rather happy.

Sure, things aren't perfect - among the things that were disgruntling me this week were a bad meeting with the Scouts, where I was solely in charge and was wholly incapable of exerting any discipline on the girls (but I've since rationalised that, and thought of so many ways to make it better), and the fact that work is sort of slumpy at the moment and failing to engage me emotionally - but I try not to dwell on that (with a little help from my friends). Sometimes I do worry that I'm turning into a strange cross betweeen Pollyanna and a fortune cookie, with all this zen positive thinking, and it still doesn't come quite naturally to me, but who knows, maybe by the end this will be another skill to add to the list of those acquired during this US life...


Fuffa said...

ok about "upsetting the flow of traffic": DON'T CARE! you are a beginner, you are learning, so it's ok to be slow at first. I kept that in mind while driving in Naples in order not to go insane and stop the car in the middle of the street and cry.
remember: if I did it, you can do that too:)

Ra said...

Ciccia you are so right - you are my inspiration you know, if you can do it, so can I :-P
Actually I think you have it harder than me because you are driving a 'real' car, not an automatic...