I told you all on this tribe last week that I managed to get an early cancellation for a driving test after failing for the second time not too long ago. After that, I booked it again and was told I would have to wait until the 28th of August to take it again, so we could only say that this date coming up was a godsend.
I would have no lesson before, only 15 minutes for a quick tour around the area, to complete a parallel, front and reverse bay park and to get back to the test centre. I was pretty much straight into it. I knew who I was going to have to examine my driving too, and I had heard things about him, apparently he wasn't the nicest of people. I sat in the test centre with my licence and keys in my trembling hand, hoping to god it would all end well. It was the last test of the day, I was the only person venturing out on the journey at that time, possibly leaving more chance for me to have an easy route down the passing rather than the failing road.
After answering a safety question correctly, we set off on the perilous journey, we succumbed to complete silence captivating the atmosphere in the car, it was almost suffocating me whole. We came to a hill, and as I waited at the junction, I put on my handbrake while waiting for a gap in the traffic, expecting myself to execute a good hill start. I stalled. Now the last time I stalled on my first test, I panicked and stalled a further two times, this time I remained calm, put my handbrake back on and performed a better hill start. At that moment, I was overjoyed, I was astounded by the fact that I managed to stay calm and not stall any further.
We made it back to the test centre, where I was asked to perform my manoeuvre of a reverse bay park, I was slightly nervous considering the last two attempts of my test I was asked to pull up on the right and reverse back two car lengths. However, I managed to do the manoeuvre successfully, I could only ever be eternally grateful for practicing before the test.
After that, the examiner turned to me and congratulated me on passing my test. I didn't believe it, I didn't think it was real, but he was writing on a pass certificate, so it must have been real. I gave thumbs up to my instructor Tom standing anxiously outside the test centre, and he smiled with genuine relief. A huge weight had been lifted off my shoulders, the anxiety drowned and warm sense of relief and calm spread through me like running water.
There is no doubt in my mind that I am overwhelmed with gratitude and happiness, it is an achievement that can change your life, and it is a wonderful thing to experience. If I could give one piece of advice, it would be to stay calm, too nervous and you could make more mistakes, however too calm and you could still be prone to making more mistakes, having that little slight twinge of anxiety in you makes you more aware and alert so you don't make silly mistakes.
To all of you out there that are learning to drive and about to do a test, stay safe and keep your head screwed on, because believe me, its worth it.