Last week, a doctor's appointment in an unfamiliar town inadvertently threw down the driving gauntlet.
Because exposure therapy has shown me how awesomely fast one can get around by driving (as opposed to taking 4 buses, a train, and a dirigible), I was open to the idea of driving myself to this doctor's appointment--despite the fact that I'd never been there and multiple people cringed at the thought of driving to that congested area themselves. I found a back roads route on Google Maps and set out on a dry run with my dad the night before the appointment. Annnnd I made a wrong turn five minutes from our house, could barely make out the street signs in the dark, and I couldn't find the right building when we "arrived" at our destination. As has long been the case with me and driving, I grew frustrated and shut down emotionally. "Eff this! I'm so taking the bus!" Concerned for my own safety, and probably that of his car ("I'm not trying to hit potholes!" "Well, you're not trying to avoid them either!"), my dad encouraged me to take Septa: "This is a tough route for an experienced driver. I know you could do it, but why stress yourself out?" So it was set: I was not driving to this appointment.
Fast-forward to me planning my Septa route the next morning. Taking Septa TO the appointment was easy enough, but it was harder to plan my way home, not knowing when exactly I'd reach the bus stop. So I contemplated taking Uber home... and then realized the ridiculousness of that idea: I would be paying someone else to do the very thing that I'm supposed to be working on! It was just a 20 minute drive, consisting of all back roads and like five turns. I could handle that... right?
After fortifying myself with some Starbucks and Million Dollar Listing, I pushed through the anxiety and drove to and from the doctor on this vaguely familiar route alone with no problems. At all. It was like I'd been driving since my 16th birthday (which, FYI, was in 2002--Lizzie McGuire was still on TV then!). I had been too nervous to eat before setting out, but once I got in the car, I was surprisingly calm. Upon arrival, I triumphantly FaceTimed my friend (and her cat) from the doctor's parking garage.
On the way home, I even dared to put on music--ie a playlist of four songs on repeat, one of which was Bleachers' "I Wanna Get Better," which I proceeded to shout/sing along with on my ride home :)
An outfit for springtime driving adventures: