I turned 25 in November and I still do not drive. I have never had my license, paid for insurance, owned a car, or been designated driver.
When people hear this, they typically want to get to the bottom of it. How could you grow up in Los Angeles and NOT drive?
My canned response is as follows:
In high school I didn’t really need to, my mom worked really close to where I went to school. Plus it wasn’t a priority for my parents to have us drive at a young age. We were expected to pay for ourselves entirely if we wanted to drive, insurance, gas, vehicle, the whole bit. In college, I absolutely didn’t need a car, everything I did I did with friends. I lived and worked on campus for all four years. Not driving was certainly not an issue. I spent two years in a volunteer program which did not support owning a car or driving. Plus I could rely on my community. In the meantime, I have saved thousands and thousands of dollars and maintained a minimal carbon footprint. Win-win.
The explanation above was true at some point, but now falls flat when delivered. Now that I have a job, a steady income, and more responsibility, I find that obtaining my driver’s license is imminent. In order to be a more productive and intentional member of society, I need to have it.
After spending January focusing on my new year’s resolution to get out more and meet new people, I am taking the next few months to focus on the licensing, something that will help me with the former resolution eventually.
To understand the implications of having a driver’s license for me, you have to understand the real reasons behind why I haven’t gotten it yet:
1. I am afraid. I am not afraid of driving itself, nor do I fear car accidents or the danger involved (though it does slightly concern me). I am afraid of being a bad driver. I don’t like to do things I’m not good at. There is an insurmountable amount of vulnerability in that for me. To do something that I may be bad at in such a public way is more frightening to me than being caught in an alley with hundreds of dogs.
2. I am allergic to asking for help and favors. Though I am incredibly patient and generally kind, I have a stubborn streak ten miles wide when it comes to figuring things out for myself. Though it is undercover most of the time, I am fiercely independent. Unfortunately driving is not one of those things that can be figured out entirely solo, at least not for me.
Being afraid and unable to ask for help has kept me stagnant. But no more. My seventeen and eighteen, nearly nineteen-year-old cousins got their licenses. It’s time.
What does this mean for me? It means the greatest victory against myself since being hired full-time. Slowly but surely I am eliminating the things that keep me from world-domination. Watch out.