I haven’t driven a car on my own for a long time.
I acquired my first car in 2008—a 2nd hand automatic Toyota Corona ’93. The car was white and needed some repairs but she was running fine. I named her Carly. The car was a gift from God; through it I learned the valuable lesson of waiting for God’s proper timing. His vantage point is so huge, He knows exactly when to give things to us and how to give it to us. He coordinates events, plans and things perfectly.
Since Carly’s an automatic, it wasn’t too difficult for me to learn the ropes. My driving instructor told me then “Para ka lang nag-bu-bump car.” Back then the only things I had to think about were driving/road rules, accelerating, turning, reversing, the brakes and proper parking. My dad and some of my uncles were telling me it would have been better if I learned driving on a manual car first, then shift to automatic. I did consider that, but then I was thinking I won’t be able to really practice the manual footwork and gear shifting since I bought an automatic car.
I was able to drive Carly for two memorable years but since the car’s kinda old, I’ve encountered a lot of problems that required me to bring her to the mechanic often. Of course you know that trips to the mechanic can be costly since you’re not just paying for labor; you find out that there are parts that need tweaking or replacing. Gah! But that’s how we learn. As much as those circumstances were not pleasant at that time, when I look back I still thank God because I won’t be able to expand my knowledge of car stuff if those incidents didn’t happen.
Driving out on my own for the first time was a test of patience and humility. I knew I wanted to learn and master it quickly, but I also had to deal with fear. Yes, I was fearful. I didn’t want to meet an accident. I didn’t want to scratch or bump my car. I didn’t want to get a violation ticket. Talk about paranoia, but then I just really had to step out in faith.
Getting my license was also an experience. Just like most of you, I had to line up at the LTO, get my requirements ready, answer a test and wait, wait, wait! When it was finally handed to me, I had this grown-up sense of freedom, it’s like “Yeah! I feel so independent! I can drive legally!” To make it more special, I purchased a pink license case. It still looks pretty until now!
Little by little, I grew accustomed to driving and increasing my running speed. I know slow drivers can get annoying (specially here, since Filipino motorists seem to always be in a rush) but we all have to start slow.
Also, dealing with yabang drivers who act like rebellious teenagers on the road can really stretch your patience and help you become more focused and alert as a driver.
Don’t get me started with motorcycle & jeepney drivers. LOL. Isama mo pa yung mga bus driver. Ooh joy! Come to EDSA and experience Manila driving at it’s finest. 😛
So today, I drove Monsour. A boy car, yes he is!
After I purchased him, I took it upon myself to enroll in driving school and go back to square one. My instructor told me that I’d have to get accustomed to the footwork, shifting of gears and hanging. Oh hanging. I’ve heard a lot about that being the most difficult part of driving an MT vehicle. Still, I was eager to learn. I knew I had to.
- First day was good. I drove a Toyota Vios. Instructor said I’d be fine in free flowing traffic, but my primera needed some work. That was challenge number one for day one.
- Day 2 was different! I drove a Honda Civic. I also had a different instructor, but he was also very nice and patient. He reminded me of the mirrors, seatbelt and everything else. We had to get moving. Oh primera again! Guess what, namatayan ako! Stop laughing. I started it again, clutch, gear, gas, handbrake. Gas, clutch, gas clutch. We were moving! So I shifted to 2nd gear.
- I drove the Honda again on day number three. Pretty much the same, but the instructor brought me to an incline. Hello hanging! Practice practice! Then came parallel parking. Reverse. Dang nabbit. I kept berating myself “I knew how to parallel park before!!!” More practice.
I’d go practicing with my dad at open spaces that didn’t have much people and vehicles. My dad’s not strict but he won’t let me go off without learning or getting used to something. I’ve been praying to God “Lord I know I totally need a lot of practice. I so want to master this. Please help me.” The feelings I have now remind me so much of when I was starting to drive two years ago. I know for some of you it’s easy to adjust from driving an automatic to a manual, but you’re you and I’m me. We all have different skill levels.
Pray for my 2nd day. Yes, that’s a prayer request.
We don’t only call on God and ask Him to help us when we think it’s the last option. Through the years, I’ve learned that our God loves being involved in the lives of His children–what we think about, what we eat, where we should put our money, what we feel. The Bible says we should pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests (Ephesians 6:18). God gives attention even to our small requests. He loves us and He is always ready to listen to us.
Thank you to those who prayed for me earlier. I appreciate it a lot!
Thank you Badet, Migz, Dennis, Tito Dave & Tito Lex! 🙂
I can do everything through Him who gives me strength.