I recently got my first car – ever! It was very exciting. I’ve always felt that car ownership is one of the steps you need to take so you can fit properly into the category of ‘adult’. There’s something about controlling an environmentally-destructive death machine that feel so adult. So I’m slightly more of an adult now. My beard hair is thicker, my voice is deeper because I have a car and can drive it around town.
As with many significant events in my life, it came with the opportunity to learn more about myself. For example, after having nightmares about driving for years, I have found that I am actually quite comfortable behind the wheel. There were a few sweaty palms but now they have dried. I’ve even started to hum occasionally.
I have also learnt that, despite my hope against hope, my sense of direction has not improved. The fact that there are large signs with arrows on them at the side of the road doesn’t seem to make much difference.
I have recently returned from picking up my wife. This drive should have taken ten minutes. However, it took me closer to half an hour as I was driving in completely the wrong direction. Driving, I might add, along roads I am very familiar with.
Maybe it was the dark. Maybe it was the radio. Maybe Cardiff roads change shape and direction after 7pm at night (this seems the most likely possibility). Maybe I’m just making excuses. Sometimes, when it feels like a big step forward in your life, you have to stop and take a minute to remind yourself that you are still the same person on the inside. Or maybe you’ll find yourself driving down a road in the dark, squinting at signs through the windscreen and feeling like a right twit.