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Have you ever gone through something that you’ve rehearsed many, many times in your head but still failed in real life? It could be anything, like cleaning up your room, asking somebody out, saying no, going for a job interview, getting rid of your stutter/accent. I’m a coward to be honest, but I do take my chances. Perhaps SIFE Simon Fraser‘s “We Dare to Do” tagline has been well embossed in my brain.

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Yes, I dare to do. I dare to travel alone, be an MC, organize 350-ppl event, approach people, eat durian (amazing fruit I tell you). I know you’re probably thinking “mehh, you don’t need any special power to do any of those.” and you’re right. It doesn’t.

As much as I wished that this “dare to do” thing could solve everything I do, it doesn’t. It takes way more to fully complete a task. It also takes passion, motivation, endurance and commitment.

I’ve failed to be an MC because I lack the motivation and endurance. I committed myself to the task and I did have a spark of passion burning in my chest about public speaking. Yet I still failed. I was horrible at it and as I was doing it, I realized it and didn’t even bother to slap myself.

There are so many challenges in life. So many. We face at least one everyday, except if you’re just hiding away in your little cave. Even when you’re hiding away in that little cave, you still face challenges like litting up some fire, warming yourself up, getting food, etc. 

I faced one of the biggest challenges in my life today. Getting an N. Yes, to many of you it doesn’t seem like a big deal. Heck, it’s only driving. If you’re good then you’ll get your license no problem. That’s what was in my mind the first few times I took the test and I have gotten frustrated over the exam itself that I almost gave up driving. It really is not that I can’t drive, because I know I can and I’m pretty good at it. It’s just about the confidence. I didn’t have enough trust in myself and I’ve been depending on someone to get me to places whether it be my mom, my sister, Ed, my friends, or the bus driver. I don’t trust myself to take care of everyone on the road, let alone myself. 

I changed that attitude this week. My beautiful and kind driving instructor, Kaniz Dhirani, the founder and CEO of Ladybug Driving School has given me strength and empowerment that I can do this. She has been my instructor for the past year, after I quit on the Chinese, the Middle Eastern, and the Spanish. The lessons have been on/off and I’ve cried twice in front of her just because I failed my ICBC exam. Yes, I’ve always been a crybaby but I felt so horrible when I failed the tests. 

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Everyday I look at people and how they drive. So many cars all around me, how did they all learn how to drive and how did they pass their exam but not me? 

When Kaniz picked me up just yesterday, I wasn’t feeling well. I was feeling anxious, but I have listened to the CDs she has given me and those CDs really did help. The CDs were calming and reassuring, they asked me to imagine myself in a calm and happy place and overlooking myself and how happy I look. I practiced that at home and at work, and I knew I had to practice it during driving too. So I told her I am imagining that we are going to go for a picnic and I’m wearing a yellow dress, eating cotton candy off trees. While it’s quite dangerous to have your mind somewhere else while driving, it magically improved my driving. I was calmed and focused on the road, my shoulders were down and I wasn’t stressing on the fact I have the ICBC exam the next day. It all didn’t matter, what matter was how I was feeling and how I can keep myself in this calm state longer.

This morning I woke up feeling alright, not too great but wasn’t depressed too. I came to bed quite happy after webcamming with Ed for an hour and watching him play his guitar and sing some of my favourite songs. He always, ALWAYS, has a way of cheering me up. I don’t know how he does it, but I wish I could do the same to him too. Anyways, I woke up and did my usual morning routine and had some beans for breakfast. I got downstairs at 8 and Kaniz was supposed to pick me up at 8:30, so I grabbed my rosary and started praying. Let me tell you, I suck at praying with rosary beads. I always forgot the prayers and forgot to count. What I do know is that God doesn’t care if I forget to count or messed up the order, as long as I’m sincere about it and yes sir, I was. 

The drive to ICBC was a bit stressful for me. I still didn’t feel ready. I quietly chanted “yellow dress. picnic. cotton candy trees” along the way and I still wasn’t feeling good. So I started humming Mary Had A Little Lamb and Kaniz, being an awesome mom that she is, started to sing the lyrics. I only know the first two lines, but she was fluent. I started thinking about Mary and the little lamb whenever I go near a school or a playground, I don’t want to hurt them. Especially the lamb. I was also thinking about Paris Hilton, how she is a “dumb blonde” (my apologies for making this stereotype) but has a license. If she can get a license, so can I. 

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Coming in to the office, she told me to wait for “Mary” (our code word for the examiner) and so we did and while we were waiting, I was still thinking that I’m going for a picnic. “Mary” then called me and introduced herself as Jennifer. We went out and off we went. There were some time during the test that I wasn’t feeling comfortable and nervous, but overall it was alright I guess. I almost thought that I’ve failed but yet again, Jennifer hasn’t written any long sentences on the paper which is a good sign. When I failed back then, the examiners always wrote long sentences down to explain what happened. As we were driving back, I said to myself “Don’t worry, we’re almost there” and I can hear Kaniz’ calming voice in my head “You’re almost done. See yourself as you’re coming in the parking lot, back in, and you’re done. Congratulations!” and before I knew it, I backed in nicely and I was done! Jennifer looked at the paper then at me, said some stuff and said “You passed. Good driving.” 

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I swear I was going to hug her right there but I didn’t know if it was appropriate or not, so I stopped myself and just jumped while walking towards the office. I’m done and I did it!

So what did I need? I still don’t know what I need but I had a bunch of things in my mind why I need this N: I have a car that needs to
be driven; Ed is moving to Coquitlam and I’d want to visit him without him picking me up; I want to go grocery shopping by myself; I want to prove to my friends and parents that I, too, can drive. 

Challenges come and go and it really is a matter if you’re actually willing to complete this challenge? We need passion, motivation, endurance, and committment to do anything well. Anything. I shall look back to this post/day whenever I feel like I can’t complete a challenge. Heck, anything and everything is possible right? 

… and yes, 

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He makes everything beautiful in its time indeed. Have I gotten my N earlier, I wouldn’t be as excited, happier, and thankful as I am right now. He has given me the strength and helped me through one of the longest 25-mins of my life. I’ve gone astray from being a good Catholic for the past 3 years but I’m learning to crawl back to it slowly.

PS: On another note, why is the song called Mary HAD a little lamb? What happened to the lamb? Did she cut him up in the end because he’s been following her everywhere? 😛

 

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