17 Years Of Procrastination

17 years is a long time.

It’s more than half my life.

And yet, I’ve been procrastinating on completing a specific project for more than 17 years.

When I was 15 and a half years old, I took the written exam that enables you to get your learner’s driver’s license. Where I live, 15 1/2 is the minimum age requirement to write the test and get your beginner’s permit, and 16 years of age is the minimum age requirement to take your driving test in hopes of earning your full driver’s license.

I took driver’s ed in high school, but due to not getting in my full amount of practice hours with the driving instructor, I never felt confident enough to take my test. I never once took a driving lesson with my mother. I didn’t have any older siblings to teach me. My father drove a standard and I felt nervous at the idea of learning on that… combined with a busy schedule, I just never found the time!

But seriously, com’on! Those are just excuses. Right?

How could I say I was just too busy… for the past 17 years?!?

I mean, if I had been really determined, I wouldn’t have let such things stand in my way of learning how to drive. If it’s something I really wanted to achieve, I would have made the time. I could have hired a professional driving instructor to teach me 1-on-1. And if money was ever an issue for paying such an instructor, I’m sure I could have easily found a way to make and save that money, too… if I wanted it badly enough.

Truth be told, I’m a little scared of learning how to drive.

For a long time, since I was a little kid, I’d have these recurring dreams and nightmares about being in car accidents. I’d usually dream about being in the passenger seat, or even being in the back seat of a car, while the car was parked; and then suddenly, for some unknown reason, the car would suddenly start driving on its own, out of control. In the dream, I’d have to grab a hold of the steering wheel and attempt to regain control of the vehicle — and let me tell you, trying to get into the driver’s seat from the back seat of the car while the car is driving on its own and against the flow of traffic is a pretty scary experience!

I’d often wake up just before getting into a car crash. Sometimes I’d actually be able to take control of the dream car, but poorly — since I didn’t have my license and wasn’t 100% confident of my driving ability. In those circumstances, there’d be a police car flashing its lights to pull me over due to my apparent lack of driving skills. And that would frighten me, too, because then I’d be worried that the dream police would arrest me for driving without a license.

I actually haven’t had a dream like this for quite some time now! I think this is a good sign.

So what did my dreams mean, if anything?

If I were to interpret my own dream, I think it was symbolic and representative of a lack of self-motivated control and direction in my life. I was “sitting in the passenger seat”, so to speak, letting life drive me where it wanted to take me, without my input. It meant I was giving my power away to other forces, allowing them to drive me in a direction I didn’t want to go.

I believe the reason why I no longer have these recurring out-of-control-car dreams anymore means that I feel I have greater control and direction over the course of my life than I did when I was younger. Needless to say, this is awesome! (And even if it’s needless, I’ll say it anyway. Wait a sec… I just did! 😉

But even so, the fact of the matter remains that I still don’t have my driver’s license!

This year, however, will be the year! I swear! I’ve practiced more this year than I have in since 17 years ago… which is kinda sad, really, considering that I haven’t even practiced all that much this year. But it’s also awesome, because it means I’m getting closer to finally learning how to drive.

One giant motivator for me is the fact that I have a younger half sister who is nearly 17 years younger than myself. She’s probably going to go for her license on her 16th birthday, which is near the end of this year. And damn it, if my little sister gets her driver’s license before me, I have no doubt that my family will try to shame, guilt and humiliate me about it til no end. Sticks and stones, but even so.

And thus, my goal is to get my full driver’s license before my sister gets hers, damn it!

I have about 2.3 months to achieve my goal.

THIS PROCRASTINATION MUST END!

In a way, this is really exciting. I have a feeling that this is a huge turning point for me — that once I achieve the goal of learning how to drive, it’ll help strengthen my belief in myself and knowledge that I can achieve anything with enough determination and will. This thought is definitely inspiring to me!

Stay tuned for an update on my progress! 🙂

Have you ever procrastinated on achieving a desired outcome or goal for more than half of your life? I’d love to hear about it!

7 thoughts on “17 Years Of Procrastination

  1. Allysia

    Oh man, this is a familiar story. Same deal with me, though I didn’t let mine go for quite as long. 🙂 But the fear and the procrastination, I hear ya on that. We were in a bad car accident when I was around 12, so I’m sure that didn’t help!

    Good luck to you! I’ve had my license for a couple years now, and am super happy about it – being able to go on a road trip on a whim is definitely a nice feeling. 🙂

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  3. Andrew Wade

    Aye, I’m 25 and still procrastinating on this issue. Had my ‘learners’ license (just the written test) when I was 16, but never used it. Only just moved back into a city where I have any access to a vehicle to learn.

    Now I just need to get off my butt and take the steps to regain my learners, sign up for a course, and learn how to drive.

    Course, I’ve known this for a couple of months. Still haven’t started. Hrm.

  4. Rachelle Fordyce Post author

    It’s so easy to let the years pass, one by one, without doing anything about it. Isn’t it?
    I’m a busy person, so it’s not that I was lazy… rather, I simply didn’t make it a priority. I didn’t commit to the goal of getting my license.

    This year, it’s different — it IS a priority and it IS a goal!
    As a result, I’m pretty confident that I’ll get my full-fledged driver’s license by the end of this year.

    YAY!

  5. Rachelle Fordyce Post author

    I finally took my driving (and parallel parking) test today! …And I passed!!! YAY!

    … my sister still doesn’t have hers yet, so in a way I still met my goal of getting my license before her. lol.

    🙂

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