This may well be a new mini-series, here on Formerly Hot. In 41 minutes my instructor Eduard will be pulling up in front of my building to give me my first of 11 hours of lessons I’ve signed up for. I am terrified. I just ate something so I’ll have something to puke, which I feel as if I’m about to do.

For those of you not from New York City, there are a lot of adults here who never learned how to drive, mostly because we never had to. New York can cause you to grow up too quickly, as my mother often feared would happen to me, but at the same time, it can infantalize you, by protecting you from ever having to learn this, the most basic skill of adulthood. So I became a “fast” Manhattan girl who took the subway in order to do all those prematurely mature things that people think kids in the suburbs don’t do (which of course they do.)

For the record, I have a license, which I got after ten lessons when I was 21. I have driven maybe 10 times in the 21 years that followed, and each time I was a nervous wreck. A key thing about driving is not to think, to get into the zone, something I am not sure I’m capable of doing.

More to follow, but I can speak French only because I learned it when I was little. I’m out of practice, but it’s in the brain vault, and I know I’d be able to get it back the first time I found myself hungry in a French-speaking country. How I wish I’d learned to drive back when I was a teenager. For me, anyway, learning scary things now that I’m 42 feels a hell of a lot harder.

Tell me about overcoming fears. I need all the information I can get.

Photo by Ed.Ward CC