I miss it because I used to do it all the time. Generally, it was a very regular part of my day.
I fear it because how I'm going to do it here in Norway is different in so many ways for so many reasons.
I desire it because (I miss it, and) I'm sure it will bring a new sense of independence to my life in a new country.
I'm currently working towards it, and paying heaps of money to accomplish it.
What am I talking about? Driving. I need it in my life again.
I don't mind public transportation. It's very good here and I use it often, but sometimes I just want to drive. I just want to be alone in a car, behind the wheel, music on, windows down, driving. Wandering. Exploring.
I realize that my desire to drive may not be understood by everyone, but I come from a place where driving is a necessity, and to me, a source of independence.
A few weeks ago, I wouldn't be able to put this into words, but my lovely sister was able to translate my whining into something productive. (I don't know how she does it, but I'm pretty sure she can read me like a book. I would be lying if I said I hated it - she helps me nail down what's bugging me.) Thank goodness for sisters, right??
Here's an excerpt from a chat we had:
but another thing i really miss lately is driving.
just so i can go other places by myself
because right now, if i ever want to go somewhere NOT in the center of the city, stian has to drive me.
or i have to take like 4 busses.
6:56 PM Caren: that makes sense....being in Norway means you have lost a lot of the autonomy that you had...and that you clearly cherished
All I can think is: ahh! She nailed it! That is exactly it. I need to achieve autonomy again.
And so driving has become a top priority in my life right now. So far I've taken 2 lessons and they have been absolutely fantastic. My instructor might be the calmest person I've ever met and incredibly helpful.
I have to take lessons for two reasons: 1) Norway makes you take lessons when you exchange your license from places other than Europe, and 2) I can't drive stick shift and we won't get an automatic car.
So far, my dad, mom, and husband have tried to teach me. It's been nothing short of a disaster each time. My mother's advice to me when I said I need to learn to drive stick was this: don't have your husband teach you. Just don't do it.
Oh Mom, your infinite wisdom never ceases to amaze me.
You know I like to learn most lessons the hard way though and so I tried it anyway.
I don't understand how the car works, and my husband doesn't understand why I don't understand...and so we argue. And shout. And then get frustrated. And then I stall the car. And panic. And once I get going again I have to pull over and get out because I start laughing uncontrollably at the absurdity of it all - laughing so hard tears are pouring out of my eyes for what seems like hours and my belly aches so bad the only thing it can do next is burst.
And that was the last time Stian sat in the passenger seat.
So. Lessons it is. Rather expensive lessons, too. I'm not exaggerating when I say they are $100 an hour and you must do a two hour lesson each time. It's going to cost me about one thousand dollars in driver's training, plus an additional $150 to actually take the practical test. Cross your fingers that I pass because if I don't, it's going cost about $2000 for mandatory theory classes. Yikes.
I believe with all my heart that it's worth every penny (or kroner, I should say). Instead of flipping out behind the wheel while trying to manage the clutch, remember what gear I'm in, and fight every urge to close my eyes and scream when I go through a round-about - I'm calm. I'm collected. I understand what I'm doing (or am supposed to be doing, at least...we learn through mistakes, right?). I feel in control. I am beginning to look forward to driving instead of dreading it.
Can't wait for the day my Norwegian driver's license comes in the mail.