I looked forward to this, I really did. I want to speak Dutch but without an extra push (lessons) I got stuck in the I-understand-almost-all-but-can’t-say-a-coherent-sentence. Not to mention that everyone I know speaks English and that pretty much drains my efforts in trying to speak Dutch.
I go to school in Halle, which is not too far but it’s still a 30 to 50 minute drive in the morning rush. Driving never came easy to me, I don’t know why. I guess we all have those things we’re just not very good at or comfortable with. Anyway, I was nervous. I practiced driving to school so that I knew the way. I made sure the gps was charged. I studied the map.
But something had to go wrong. Murphy’s Law or something. The day before my first class, my boyfriend’s father decided to test the car – I am driving their 20-year-old Toyota – and, of course, it didn't work. Was I giving that much of a negative vibe?
I didn’t sleep well – woke up many times and hours before the alarm – as I knew I wouldn’t.
We arrange who drives with whom, I get to drive my boyfriend’s car and his mom calls the garage and they send two guys to fix the Toyota.
I stress about not finding a good parking spot and having to go around a few blocks, what makes me late for my first class. During class, I stress about whether or not I parked in a proper spot and will I get a ticket?
God, how can people do this every day?
I’m kidding. I knew I was nervous because I am not used to driving often anymore. I’m not used to finding my way around new places anymore. And that’s a good thing – being forced to do it. I know that after some time I will feel comfortable and self-confident.
Sometimes the things you fear or are nervous about are exactly what you need to do. Face them, put them behind and learn.
I couldn’t help but wonder how strange it is that I get nervous about such silly things after all I’ve done in life. I guess it’s normal. And I needed a healthy dose of stress to get me out of boredom.
There are more than 20 people in my class and it's wonderful to look at all the difference: people from Poland, Turkey, France, Congo, Cameroon, Ukraine, etc. I love having lessons, homework and getting out of the house. I don't even mind getting up before the sun.
Today was the third day and everything is going smoothly. As I drove this old red car in the Belgian rain I considered how grateful I am – for learning, for overcoming difficulties, for having a car to borrow, for not getting lost, and much more.
What challenge have you faced recently?