I have been learning to drive, for about a year – I’m almost at the stage where I can go for my restricted. The entire process of me learning to drive, is not more difficult because I use a wheelchair, but my using of a wheelchair has meant that I have had to think about more things. It’s not just about driving, it’s about how will I get my chair in the car, how will I use hand-controls?
There is more to think about. I remember when I was little, I used to be obsessed with Mini Coopers & when I was young, I didn’t realise that my being in a wheelchair would make driving different than it is for able-bodied people, so I’d imagine myself owning a Mini Cooper.
That didn’t happen and it is logistically improbable that it will, because I’m not free to have whatever car I want, that’s how it is. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not ungrateful for the car that I do have, if anything I am exceedingly grateful that we could find something I am able to use, but the whole process of me driving and having a car, it isn’t how I imagined – and sometimes accepting that is hard, today, I didn’t feel like doing a driving lesson.
So, I started doing what everyone does when they don’t want to do things. I started justifying it in my head.
I remembered an interview I watched about Lena Dunham, she said in the interview that she doesn’t drive.
And so I thought, well if Lena doesn’t drive, then obviously I’d be fine.
She’s a writer, an activist an all round rad human – clearly driving isn’t everything. Of course, in making this justification I forgot, that Lena Dunham probably has more than enough money for Ubers and lives in the city, whereas I do not have surpluses cash and live rurally. So the reality is that order to be as successful in my own right as my hero Lena Dunham, I do need to drive for the foreseeable future.
When things get hard, or when we want to give up or when things aren’t what they seem, often we try and justify it in our heads; or say that it’ll be fine. But the truth is, that doing both of those things won’t help you, what will help you is getting done all the things you set out to do. Even if they aren’t how you imagined.
If my driving lesson today was anything to go by, once you do the things you were avoiding, you eventually wonder, why you avoided it at all.