Driving on Pins and NeedlesMonday, November 15, 2010 By Kelsie Karnes
Since I turned fifteen I have impatiently waited to turn sixteen. Not because I wanted to be another year older or because sixteen seems to be a “milestone” in a teen’s life, but because I could finally get my driver’s license. Getting my driver’s license meant so much more than just turning sixteen. That tiny little card with the oh-my-gosh-I’m-nervous picture was the basis of a whole new kind of freedom and independence. It was the source of a new found trust between my parents and me. As my sixteenth birthday drew near, it was all I could think about. I anxiously waited for my birthday to come within reach. I counted months, weeks, days, and then hours. By the time I reached the much anticipated age of sixteen, a few of my friends had already gotten their driver’s license. I drilled them with questions about the test…asking if it was hard, how nervous they were, and if they had any pointers they could give me. As each of my friends listed off each difficulty or unexpected obstacle, I made a mental note, determined to store what they said in my memory, anxious for anything that might help. When it was finally time for my test, I was on pins and needles. I was so completely, undeniably nervous. I waited in line at the stuffy DPS office hoping no one would notice my constant fidgeting. My friends’ words pummeled through my mind, not at all helping my resolve. I nearly jumped when the curly-haired DPS officer called my name. To my relief, she was very friendly and it calmed my nerves, but only just a bit. With sweaty palms, I gripped the steering wheel and began my test. Looking back, it’s hard to believe I was so nervous, it’s really almost laughable. The test had been a breeze and I passed with flying colors. The DPS officer told me I had done “very well”. I walked back over to my mom after the test with a triumphant smile and gave her quick thumbs up. I am now officially licensed to drive, but no matter how easy the test was I’m just glad I never have to do it over again!