Today I passed my Californian Drivers Test. Passed! Yes! Ace! Smiley face.
After failing it three times previously. What? Yes. I know. Three times. I know. Damn.
I don't know how it happened. I've always thought of myself as a very good driver. Maybe a fast driver, but a good driver. And I've been driving for nearly eight years now. I can't even use the whole driving-on-the-other-side-of-the-road thing as an excuse - that 7000 miles we drove across America gave me a whole ton of practice at that.
Husband suggested that I developed a bit of a mental block after the first time. See, that first time I was maybe a bit too cocky - I just never ever thought I would fail. It wasn't even something I entertained. Husband, funnily enough, was convinced he would. And then he passed and I didn't. My brain was confused.
The next two times were therefore a ball of nerves, tightly wound, headache-inducing. It becomes hard to even joke about it anymore at that point.
So today I did my best to shake it off - I even booked my test at a completely different testing station - a whole new placement seemed called for. Though that did mean I got lost on the way, ran late, and couldn't find the right spot to queue when I got there. More negative vibes. Shake it off, shake it off.
Eventually the test began. I had a nice lady, who kept telling me again and again, 'Drive safely, drive safely'. It was actually quite calming and reassuring, which was just what I needed. The test seemed to go on forever, but we drove through this beautiful suburb in Glendale - mountains in the distant, tree-lined streets, beautiful little houses - also quite calming. And in the end, I drove safely, safely, and made it back to the DMV, where my lovely tester told me I had finally passed.
Fourth time lucky indeed.