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On my own

I've been trying to drive the car in the absence of hubby, so that I gain in confidence and become independent. Two weeks ago, the husband went out of town for four days that included the weekend. Co-incidentally, my friend's(A) husband was also out of town, so we girls decided to jam up and have a good time. The plan was to meet up at her place Friday night, and spend the Saturday at leisure with the kids. A works full-time and was supposed to reach home by 7 p.m. We decided that she would pick me up on her way home.

All the while when the plan was being made, part of my mind was telling me to drive down to A's place on my own. This was my chance. But the other part sounded doubtful, citing the evening traffic and other reasons of keeping safe, especially when the hubby was out of town. Finally, 15 mins prior to when my friend was supposed to pick me, I went out of my complex to gauge the traffic. There was some traffic but it was not choc-a-block. I made a quick decision and placed a call (before I had a chance to reconsider) to A and told her that I would come on my own. A and I have known each other since our High school days. She is well aware of my self-doubting nature and initial reluctance on my part to take bold decisions. She was more than happy and supportive of that fact I was making the effort.

I strapped R on to the back seat, instructed him to sit quiet, strapped myself, made the necessary seat and mirror adjustments, took a deep breath, started the engine, put the car into gear and glided my way through the gate out into the traffic. My first solo adventure with the kid, an evening drive, along with other crazy people on the road. I was shivering from within. I kept muttering a prayer in my mind, eyes on the road and maneuvered my way to A's house which is a good 2 kms on a traffic-filled road. I handled the traffic at times jerkily, at times deftly, but on the whole I didn't do badly. I heaved a sigh of triumph and relief when I reached A's parking lot. I had killed a few demons and that too without external help :-)

Later during the weekend, I grabbed several other chances to drive my way around the town within a radius of 3-5 kms. Although, I did struggle many a times and wished I hadn't put on such a brave face and ventured out, I felt empowered and satisfied in the end. After all this is how everyone learns and I too have to. The primary reason I wanted to learn to drive was to be on my own and not depend on hubby or anyone else for little errands or even to chauffeur R to and fro from his school when the need arises. During the last week too, I had to visit R's pre-school a couple of times and had to depend on my driving skills. I was a bag of nerves each time. I faltered many times. I am still jittery at the thought of driving alone to a place but I want to do it. I have to do it. For myself.  

Comments

  1. Awww! Bravo Uma! I totally know what you mean by wanting to do this on your own. It can be frustrating to not have a means of transport to yourself, especially when you need it. I love to drive and for a year while I was pregnant I didnt drive because of all the stress it caused me to be on Hyderabad roads, but now again, I take the car out after leaving the hubby and baby at home and how i love it. Once the fear goes, theres a real sense of power when you are behind the wheel, especially on weekends or holidays when there isnt much traffic on the road. Glad you took to driving :-) How did the little one strapped to the back seat react?

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    1. Thank you, Aarathi!
      You are so right when you say it is frustrating not to have a means of transport to yourself. Trust me, I felt this more when I was in Hyd. And, you drive in HYD??? hats off to you! I wouldn't have dared..:-)

      For all the mischief the lil'one does, surprisingly he remains calm when I'm on the wheel alone with him. Perhaps the experience is still new to him, so he doesn't try his tricks with me..hope he remains like that..:-)

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  2. yayayayay! congrats Uma..what a super milestone..you are attacking 2012 with a vengenace eh? all important miles within two months...*Proud of you*

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    1. Thank you! Thank you, RM!!! yeah, am also pleasantly surprised with the items that are being ticked off..proud of me, eh?? am really glad.. :-)

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  3. So so glad that you overcame your jitters and did it! Believe me, it will get better each time and after a few months you will wonder what all the fuss was about :) I remember how terrified I used to be when I first learnt driving on chennai roads. Only one tip - never ever allow R to distract you while driving. It just takes a second for an accident (minor/major) to happen and that experience can set you back for months.
    Btw, how do I ensure I know if you have replied to my comment? You need to enable the checkbox which sends followup comments to my email inbox.

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    1. Thanks a ton, Aparna!
      you are so right about getting distracted. Like I told Aarathi, R is surprisingly not hyper when I'm alone on the wheel with him..at least so far..
      Aparna, you need to click on the "subscribe by email" link that appears on the bottom right corner of the comment form on my page..err..I've added this tip as my comment message too. But for some reasons, that message appears at the bottom, so maybe goes unnoticed.

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  4. Way to go, girl!!! That's the only way to learn... push yourself even though difficult... really proud of you!

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    1. Thank U! Thank U,Purnima!! :-)))

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  5. Whoa! Great attempt Uma. I loved the zeal and fortitude you have with the determination of doing things for yourself!
    This is surely gonna take you places and I'd happily want to read all such incidents of your life right here like this! :)

    Your husband's gonna pat your back for doing this. You're an inspiration. :D

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    1. Rachit, lol..inspiration for being able to drive..isn't this a little too much??..but thanks!!! sweet of you to say that :-DD

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  6. Wow!!!! Bravo Uma :). I just loved the part where u made an instant decision to drive to A's place and the feeling of triumph after doing so.... I wish I could do it too. I too have certain inhibitions about driving and each time I try to be brave I get butterflies in my stomach :(. I really have to push myself now.

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    1. Thanks, Tan!! :-)))
      Even I get butterflies, Tan..but I just pushed myself that day..you should too!

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  7. your post reminded me of my first "drive-alone" experience... Before that, i was never scared of driving, however, i always needed someone next to the driving seat for some guidance and assurance... When i had to drive alone for the first time, i pretended to be brave before my dad and bro, but inside, i was scared like hell!! It was only after driving alone that i became more confident about my driving skills.. :-)

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    1. So true, Radhika! you need to drive alone to become more confident. I am a cool driver when the husband is sitting next to me. The true test was when I had to drive alone..:-)

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  8. grt..beautiful!! yr break thru to drive and to write it so beautifully..i m on verge of doing this and u inspired me at right time..well done!

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    1. Hey Prachi, am glad I could inspire you. thank you so much! :-)
      and welcome here. Hope to see u often :-)

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  9. Kudos Uma! Agli baar Bangalore ghoomane you can drive us :D Lagey raho !

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    1. hehe..thanks, Arv! yes, definitely :-)))

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  10. Hey Uma, you sound so similar to me..whenever I read your posts, i feel that the same has happened to me. I was planning to take out my car on my own for the first time today and had the same feelings...and here I read your post. In fact I used to drive quite a lot in the US but bangalore traffic scares the hell out of me.
    And yes.. a very happy wedding anniversary (even we are about to hit the 5 year mark this year!)

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    1. Wow, we do sound similar, Shuchi..:-)
      and you too nearing the 5 mark?? great! when is the D-day??
      Thanks a ton for the wishes Shuchi, but the anniversary is still a few days away (I have edited the post like-wise:-))

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  11. Wow Uma, this was so great to read. I am so so proud of you to have taken these first steps towards empowerment - really feels good to not need to depend on anyone, esp. the autos !!

    So in no time at all you're going to be zooming across town, and I'll expect you at my place in BTM :).

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    1. Thanks so much, Aparna!
      Hopefully one day I'll drive down to BTM and surprise you..:-)

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  12. Dear Uma, Congratulations on your solo run, keep it up and here's to many more. I must say that I am pretty envious too. My own story is quite different. You can read it here on my blog http://wrenwarbles.blogspot.com/
    Cheers!

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    1. Thanks a lot, Chatty..hopping over to read your story..:-)

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  13. Good for U girl!!!!!

    It's very important to be self-reliant....and only if we take baby steps can we proceed to self-confidence. Very happy for u:-))!!!!

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    1. satya vachan, Nancy! yes, baby steps are necessary but they can be quite daunting :-0

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