Life Lessons from a Week of Driving

So where have I been these past few days?  I’ve been learning to drive.

I’ve had my driver’s license for quite a while now, but just never really had the time or the money (for gas) to practice.  But now that everyone’s moving out it’s become imperative for me to take a crash course on how to pilot a vehicle since said vehicle will be left at my own disposal.

The past week has been a whirlwind of adventure, and here are a couple of things I learned on the road:

  • Before you start the engine, make sure everything’s ready: handbrake down; park mode on; and if it’s nighttime, headlights.  You don’t want to go through life blind or without the proper equipment to keep you moving forward.
  • Look both ways and behind before backing the car.  Don’t make hasty moves without first considering the effects they will have on others.  Respect even those who are behind you; just because they are doesn’t mean they can’t get hurt.
  • Mind the mirrors and see what’s behind you, but keep your focus on the road ahead. Learn from the past; take a glance every now and then. But don’t let it keep you from moving on to where you’re headed.
  • Take caution before joining the flow of traffic.  A lot of people have already gotten to where they are way before you even tried to get in, so be sure not to push your way through and impose yourself on everyone else.
  • Signal left/right before you turn. Let people know where you’re headed beforehand just in case they’ve already made plans that included you in them.
  • Don’t mind the honking if you’re driving too slow. Sometimes people want to get ahead of you and simply cannot stand the way you slack, especially if you’re still trying to get the hang of things.  Don’t care too much about what others say, and don’t compare yourself with how fast everyone else is running.  Focus on your own steady progress and you’ll get there eventually.
  • Slow down when turning corners.  Take some time to adjust to change; don’t rush things simply because you think you can.  Make use of a few moments to familiarize yourself with the transition unless you don’t mind hurting yourself and others along the way.
  • Yellow is for caution.  There are times when you simply cannot make it across, and the red light is just looming in the distance.  Don’t try to shoot yourself to the other side or you’ll end up getting hit in all directions.  Simply accept the fact that life always goes back to green, and you’ll get another turn in a few minutes.
  • A slow and steady stop is less painful.  Slamming your foot on the brakes will only shove you abruptly forward and give you a pain in your head or your chest that you’ll never forget.  Nonetheless, life never fails to give you surprises along the way so just make sure you put your seat belt on.
  • Mind the way you honk. The horn, although it produces a single invariable honk, can still have undertones that can be pretty obvious especially when you blow it long and loud and can very well frighten people.  Nonverbal cues often speak louder than words.
  • Don’t cut corners. Yes, there’s always a shortcut to everything in life, but it’s not always legal.  If you get to the end through means other than what is morally correct you could end up dealing with the consequences, which obviously isn’t what you’d want.
  • Don’t wait until the tank is empty before you put gas in the car.  If you keep postponing, you might end up stranded in the middle of nowhere.  Always run prepared, and always learn to anticipate the inevitable.

One Reply to “Life Lessons from a Week of Driving”

  1. […] “met” Joyce by reading Life Lessons from a Week of Driving. The title drew me in because of my own “Life Lessons” category. I enjoyed the post so […]

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