This post is part of the #MyFirst series by Kerri Sackville. Find her blog here.
So I was trawling the recesses of my mind, for the youth section, in an attempt to remember what sort of things I wished for when I was young and which of them came true and in what order those things happened. I know my young little heart had many wishes and I am sure a lot of them worked out in my favour. It’s just the finer details that are eluding me.
I’ve had to go with the one that stands out most clearly, partly because, writing a whole blog post on a bouncy ball or an electric blue eyeliner, would just make me seem shallow. I did have a bit of a timeline issue here though, since my very first wish, I can clearly remember wishing with all my 9-year-old heart, didn’t come true until 2 years ago, you can read about that bi-weekly on this here blog. In the meantime another wish managed to slip in there from start of wish all the way through to fulfilment, so I’ll tell you about that one.
My first big fulfilled wish was for freedom. Now while I did grow up in South Africa, my quest for freedom was a whole lot less noble than some of my countrymen. I’m talking about the right to drive and the freedom to take myself to where ever my heart desired without having to wait for somebody else to share the inclination or to have been worn down by my begging.
I found learning to drive more difficult than I wanted to. I actually got physically scared the first time the car came to life with me in the driver’s seat. “Right!”, I wanted to say, “That’s the first lesson out the way. Let’s switch it off and go have a little lie down.”. The gears were my nemesis but I was determined and I persevered.
I booked my test for the day after my 18th birthday not wanting to ruin the day if I failed. There were rather crazy rules in place for passing your license, K53, it was called. It was supposedly the code for good driving, it included things like; check your review mirror ever 8 seconds, check review mirror, side mirror and review mirror after passing any side street, your indicator has to flick 4 times before you can move across a lane, and so forth.
I think I was actually shaking through the whole test. My head was bobbing around like a bobbing head car toy, trying to hit all the mirror checks. I thought I’d cleverly chosen a suburb with a 50km speed limit, so I’d have more time to concentrate but I’d forgotten about all the side streets!
I passed. It was glorious. That moment washed over me. Even the follicles of my hair tingled with the excitement of the freedom that was all mine.
My first solo outing was to my best friends house. I’d made the drive many times in my dreams. Radio tuned at full volume to my favourite station, windows down, the wind blowing through my hair, epitomising the cliché, loving it like an 18-year-old with a license to drive. It was heaven. I drank in every delicious detail of the moment. It’s still a cherished memory nearly 20 years later. A mixture of pride, at conquering the challenge, the thrill of the spoils of my success and the wonderful unfettered freedom of going where ever I wanted and having to take only me.
* Image from http://www.harrisdrivingschool.com.au/