Into the Sunset: The Turning Point Series

This is the Turning Point Series where I recall events in my life that changed the course of my journey in some significant, impactful way. I almost entitled it the TP Series, but then thought better of it. Given the state of our world with covid and everything, I didn’t want people to wrongly assume this was the central spot to find the best toilet paper sales in the north (it’s not, btw).

For most of my young life, we did not own a family car. As far as I could remember, we were a family that always relied on others or on public transportation. If we had family gatherings elsewhere or had to go anywhere far, we generally had to prepare for a long trek or ask extended family for rides. I never, in my wildest dreams, thought I’d ever learn how to drive a car. It was so foreign to me to think of myself behind the wheel of a vehicle because I didn’t grow up with the advantages of having one. I have fond memories of lugging heavy groceries or laundry bags every weekend with my mom on very crowded public transportation. As dreadful of a task as it was, it was something we were used to as kids. We never thought there could be any other way. As my peers at that time were itching to get their driver’s license, I was sitting back and living vicariously through them. But it was never a desire of mine to experience driving simply because we didn’t own a family vehicle so there really was no point in getting excited about turning 16.

So, when my dad bought our first family car, I was intrigued. However, unlike most young people, I didn’t even have any thoughts about driving yet. Truthfully, it was much too scary, and I was relieved not to be the driver in the family. But I guess one day my dad decided it was time for me to learn a new life skill.  Coincidentally, it was right around the time of my first real heartbreak- my boyfriend and I had just broken up. We had been together for 3 years (an eternity for a young person), and I had practically relocated to his home for the better part of that time. I was in a mopey, hibernating state and, in general, inconsolable. One day, shortly after the break-up, I reluctantly asked my dad to drive me (while silently sobbing in the backseat) to go pick up my things from my ex’s place. I hated showing my vulnerable side to my parents, but there was no way I was going to be able to move all my stuff home on transit amid my despair. In that moment, I had felt a sense of loss for any form of independence I thought I had up until that point. It hadn’t occurred to me that I had been relying on two men in that moment, each to bridge my past with my present. I needed my dad to drive me to pick up the broken pieces of my past (from where the other had brought me to my temporary home). I never want to feel so dependent on another man again like that. 

My dad thought a good way to get me out of my funk would be for me to take driving lessons to gain some autonomy. He even offered to pay for my lessons so I could learn the “proper” way. This is where it gets embarrassing; he signed me up for road lessons with a company called Good Luck Driving School. I kid you not- everywhere we drove, without fail, some idiot would sarcastically scream in our general direction, “GOOD LUCK DRIVING!” *insert face palm*

I still remember it- the day I passed my full driver’s test. I wanted to surprise my best friends, so I preemptively called them to say I had failed the test then minutes later I drove myself up to their house to see their shocked faces. I still have a fuzzy picture somewhere that I took of their hilarious reactions. We were united in our elation because it signified a new power dynamic in our lives. We no longer had to depend on anyone else (especially boyfriends) to give us a lift or be limited by our surroundings. Even now, one of the best feelings in the world is driving by myself in my car with the music blaring. To me, it represents a sense of freedom, independence, joy and privilege. I suppose it’s my own version of driving off into the sunset.

What about you- what’s an event in your life that helped you become less dependent on others?

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37 thoughts on “Into the Sunset: The Turning Point Series

  1. What a fantastic, goddess-forward post! I love this so much, and even tho I have a different backstory, my go-to for that free and independent feeling is still 💯 driving alone in my car with music! Love this post, you’re just such a goddess 💖🌺🔥Yay!

    Liked by 2 people

  2. wonderful story; I think many of us just take a car and driving for granted, and don’t realize what a privilege it is to have a car and to be able to drive and the freedom that it gives us.

    it’s hard to top driving as giving one a sense of independence, but I’d say my first job, as well as learning how to cook and do laundry helped a bit as well 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I love the topic of this series! Your dad sounds like a very wise man! 🙂 Getting my drivers license was a huge step towards independence for me. Managing my own finances was another big one!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I just LOVE the theme of this series! And this is such a great empowerment story too, I’m so happy you shared! I think a huge step in my independence was travelling for work. I would never have put myself in situations to travel alone, until I was required to by my job. Now I love travelling alone and will do it for fun even!

    Liked by 1 person

    • This is very true! Not many ppl would have the nerve to travel solo as a social thing but travelling alone for work would be doable… I’m not yet a brave solo traveler but it’s definitely something I hope to do very soon (I’ll start small and local first) 😜

      Like

  5. I can totally understand the feeling of wanting to be independent and not rely on anyone else. One of my grandmas never learned to drive, even though she lived into her 90s. My grandpa had to drive her everywhere. I can’t understand why anyone would want to be reliant on someone else in that capacity, but that was a different era.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. I never even thought to be grateful for driving at 16. I was one who looked forward to it (and to moving out at 18!), planned on it, prepared for it… Thank you for teaching me gratitude for that.

    Ironically, your question made me think about when I’ve not felt independent. Medical recovery is usually the reason. It’s times like that that I realize the blessings of my freedom. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • You’re welcome Chel, thanks for reading! Yes, medical recovery is a big one. I find so many ppl take their health for granted. I try to remind myself of this often. I’m not the healthiest human around, but healthy enough that I should be grateful for the freedom and independence it affords me! ❤️

      Liked by 1 person

  7. Wow what a beautiful story! I love that your dad encouraged you to take control of the situation and you totally owned it. The best solution to a break up is really just to move on!
    For me, my blog has helped me gain control of my emotions 😊

    Liked by 1 person

  8. What a crazy name for a driving school lol Someone probably thought that was really funny.

    So, I’ve always wanted to be independent, but ironically, I was in a family of codependent folks, who didn’t seem to like how much I wanted to exert my independence. As soon as I graduated high school, I pretty much did whatever I wanted, and I lucked out and married someone who likes independent women ❤

    Liked by 1 person

  9. How wonderful that your dad loved you enough to encourage you to be independent with a driver’s license. Public transport is a nuisance, but I did appreciate when I needed it. Nothing beats driving though. When we were in lockdown, driving in my car was one of the few times I felt free. And of course very privileged. Thank you for sharing your story.

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Awww, this is such a heart warming story. ❤
    And the 'Good Luck Driving' – if I was there I would have been one of those jerks yelling that out for sure. 😀 😀
    As someone who still doesn't drive – I seriously understand how liberating it must have felt. I do have my license and know how to drive but I just can't get over my fears. 😦 Maybe in 2021!

    Liked by 1 person

  11. I am also a graduate of the ‘jammed-on-public-transport-carrying-groceries-home-because-my-mum-didn’t-own-a-car’ school. Actually, we walked most of the time, and they were my favourite days…chatting to mum about anything and everything. Perspective is so wonderful at times. Great Post! ❤️

    Liked by 1 person

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