On Learning to Drive in my Twenties

When I was 16 years old, I was blasting Sigur Ros in my headphones and riding the 2 train downtown, instead of getting my driver’s license. My high school offered driving lessons, but only a handful of people signed up — it was expensive and unnecessary — plus, the instructor was potentially a weirdo. The subway took me where I wanted to go: from home to school, from school to my boyfriend’s apartment, from my boyfriend’s apartment back home.

And then I went to college in Wisconsin, where I got rides to Walmart in a stinky shuttle van and could walk from my dorm to any given class in less than 3 minutes.

Enter Cape Cod. For the past year and a half, I have been biking 4 miles to get eggs, cheese and kale. I have learned that the word donut has another meaning, referring to some semi-dangerous maneuver in Dairy Queen parking lots. Driving, up until very recently, was something that I did not do, like running in the right direction during a softball game.


Times have changed. Last Thursday, I took two buses to South Yarmouth and drove around a cul de sac with a cranky blond woman who wore sunglasses the whole time and texted while I parallel parked in between cones.

You know when you imagine an event in your life as this abstract and monumental, angels-singing moment? You day dream about it for years — this occasion that will mark the beginning of Being an Adult, that will change everything, change you? And then it actually happens? And it’s not disappointing — it’s awesome, but the moment also comes and goes?  It’s there and then it’s over? That’s how I felt as I waited for the bus home in front of a chilly corner by Shaw’s. That’s also how I felt walking across the stage at my college graduation. This might be a thing that happens. (Correct me if I’m wrong.)

But… I have my license! I can check that off my Things to Do list. I still wonder about a lot of things, but I no longer wonder what will happen if I sneeze while I’m driving.

Who wants to go for a ride? 

Snapshots from Thelma and Louise  

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