Wednesday, July 14, 2010

I Did It!

I keep waiting for the day, as I grow older, where nothing will be such a big deal to me anymore. I am waiting for the day, when I won’t get nervous about a job interview, about meeting someone new, when I won’t have knots in my stomach when I fly over the Atlantic or pack up for a weekend road trip, when I don’t think that someone will break into my house every time I head for the grocery store. The day when I’ll stop worrying for trivial things like these.

One of the things I hate most about myself is being a worrywart! Hate it with a passion. I was brought up to believe that if there is anything that can go wrong, it will go wrong and I need to be five minutes smarter than life to be prepared for everything. It’s really a curse! And it’s a rotten way to live, I am telling you! I blame it for my high blood pressure and chronically accelerated pulse! My migraines, too!

I have lived in Utah now for over two months. And for that long, every day, I have dreaded the day I will have to go in and get a Utah driver’s license. I know – it’s comical! 16 year olds do it! 15 year olds get a learner’s permit! And I was literally sick to my stomach, afraid of going in and applying for one! Why?! Because in Utah, along with a loooong laundry list of documents you have to provide, they also make you take the written test all over again.

So, to me, it was like having a real exam. And I hate exams! My nerves hate them more. So, like a pathetic, self doubting fool that I am, I have been keeping up at night, worrying that I might miss too many questions to pass, I might not be of “legal enough” status for Utah to apply for one (they ask you for proof of citizenship, and whereas my passport does say I am an American, it still stays I was born elsewhere!), I have feared that they won’t like the bank statements which are the only “bills” I have in my name with my Utah residence on them, and they’d like to see a mortgage bill or utility bill, which are not in my name… and so forth!

So, for weeks, I have studied the road book – yes, I have read it cover to cover – and I have panicked! My poor, amazing husband has put up with my *yawn* boring stories about what the book says and how easily one can miss a question, because everything in that book is so relative, about how I don’t get what the heck a CFI is nor a single point urban interchange … and the likes.

The fact that the exam is open book meant absolutely nothing to me! What if I am too nervous to be able to find the answer in the book? What?! They let you use an actual book? Well, if it were in pdf format, on the computer, you could do a Ctrl+F and find what you’re looking for, but in a book?! The fact that there was no time limit on the exam, and you could take three hours to answer all the 25 (I know: 25!!!) questions meant nothing to me. And as I have said – the fact that ADHD children of 15 PASS this test every day, without having 12 years of driving experience behind them like me meant nothing to me also.

Worry. Worry. Worry. That was the only thing I did for two months.

Till today. Because I did brace myself, closed my eyes and “jumped” sorta - kinda, a couple of weeks back when I made an appointment for the DMV for today, to go pass the darn thing! And I did. After having “the breakfast of champions” (mom always told me to eat a hard boiled egg every time before an exam – “it will keep you focused”, she said – and I listened) and several cups of coffee to make sure I am awake when I browse that book, I drove to the only town in our county that allows you to obtain an “original” Utah driver’s license and that facilitates “the exam”! I got 100% of answers right, and I only looked up in the book maybe two of them, and just for double checking. And miracle of all miracles, I did find them in the book! Must be all that coffee.

I wondered all this time whether there was more behind this irrational, unexplainable fear. Maybe secretly I was not ready to say “good bye” to my (always) beloved NC, and my second home on this planet. I am still not completely sure that there was not more to it. But truth is, from where I saw it, it was complete and utter, paralyzing fear of failure and having to deal with the consequences of re-taking the test and all and bureaucracy of it.

But it’s over. I did it! I passed it, and now, my NC license has two punch holes in it to mean it’s not the “real” one anymore. And I have a temporary, paper Utah license in addition to it - with my new Utah Address and everything. I feel just a little bit more legal in my new home state. And just a little bit less worried, maybe?! Well, let’s not push it quite yet!

Registering the car in UT is next, and the fear of … oh, I don’t know … not passing inspection, maybe, or making my insurance agent mad when I cancel the NC insurance and get on Aa’s UT insurance is next too … Are you chuckling and shaking your head?! Remind me one day to tell you about how I felt when I had to go in for a heart cath! Which I had put off for FIVE years before I built the courage to actually do it! Now, that’s a story …

As I have said: still waiting for that day when I grow up and grow out of the worrywart stage and become more … blasé. Man, what a celebration that will be!

The proof: the "hole punched" NC license, and just a hint of the new temporary UT license underneath.


Dawn in NC said...

Congratulations on passing your exam, A! (as if there were ever a question about whether you would)
I have tried to come to a place of acceptance about your chronic worrying, Ms. A, and wish that you would, too. Only you would worry about worrying! ;-)

A.W. said...

Oh, thank you for TRYING to understand, Dawn! I HATE myself for it! I wish I knew what to do, but when I am wired that way, I guess it's harder to fight it. I know I am chopping years off of my life span for doing this, and still ... it's what I do ... Miss you!