Yes. I am 55 and I just received my driver’s license.
Oh yes, please giggle behind your hand and make asshat comments. That is your right but remember, I also have rights and one of those rights is to tell you to go fuck yourself.
Why did I wait this long? Is it really any of your business? Life is not Facebook. Not everyone is entitled to know everything about your life.
I have my reasons for waiting this long but they are MY reasons and extremely valid for my life. You may not understand them, but that isn’t my problem. Your reaction, when thoughtless and even rude will, very quickly, become my problem. It would mean I would have to re-assess my opinion of you as a thinking human being.
So, you feel that you, somehow, have the right to make derogatory comments? You know why I chose not to apply myself to a driver’s license? Funny, I don’t remember discussing it with anyone but my husband and my mother. Even they were not privy to all my reasons. Apparently, I need to justify myself to you? You feel yourself to be such an important influence in my decision making that you need my reasons for my choices in life?
Okay, I’ll play.
- I was a single mother back when I received my learner’s permit. I couldn’t afford a car. I was not receiving any child support and as I was working, I was not eligible for legal aid and had to pay for my lawyer. My choice was simple – defend my son’s future or buy a car. No child support. So you figure it out.
- I met my husband. We had 2 kids and 2 legal battles to fight. He worked his ass off to provide us with food, shelter and clothing. Another vehicle was out of the question. Pay cheques never quite made it from week to week but we managed without luxuries of any sort. Our kids were fed and our kids had a roof over their heads. A second vehicle did not factor in as a priority. Dave took a second job so that we could manage to pay a few bills – like electricity.
- We moved and I was able to go back to work. We still had legal battles that required copious amounts of money. We were close to public transportation and I was able to take the bus to work. We had to pay daycare on top of the rent, food, utilities and sundries required to live. Like asthma medication for one of the boys. A car? No way.
- The job got complicated – I was asked to lie to a spouse while the boss took off to Mexico and other “business trips” with his girlfriend. I left my job.
- While looking for another job, I discovered that we were to have a third child.
- We moved again, to a cheaper abode. This new addition had some major health problems. I could not work. We were at the hospital so often that the staff knew us by sight and by name. Dave had to take a third job. Expenses were growing faster than our income. A second car? Not a chance.
- We moved closer to the city. Still fighting legal battles. Dave was still working 3 jobs. The third child was stabilizing and I took a job with a graveyard shift. I was home in time for Dave to go to one job and I could get the kids off for school. I slept when I could.
- Injury at work – CSST that took 9 months for a cheque to arrive. Legal bills, utilities, food, medication, clothing and now, a mortgage. Dave is still working 3 jobs. Another car? The money tree was not taking root in the backyard although our children had a safe place to play and to grow up.
- Started to work again. Also joined my husband when I could, on his runs to Quebec City. I watched other drivers and I thought about what could possibly motivate someone to drive like an idiot. To pilot a potentially lethal weapon in such a way as to put the lives of others in danger.
- Kids were growing, expenses grew along with them – a car? Not a chance.
- The years in between were the same – expenses, common financial sense told me a second car was absurd. It would force us, too deeply, into debt. Dave went back down to one job, anywhere from 10 to 14 hours a day.
- Kids leave, come back, leave and I find my current job.
- Things start to stabilize. I lose my father.
- Still can’t afford a second car but my obtaining my license is no longer an option. There are too many issues that require a vehicle.
- For several years, I either took the bus or a cab to work. Sometimes, I would walk – then arthritis hit and that choice was removed from me. A second car was quickly becoming a necessity.
During those years of having to take a bus or a cab through West Island Co-op Taxi? I met some fascinating people whom I would, probably, never have met. Men and women from all over this world, different cultures, languages, personalities, and points of view. I met people from Europe, from Asia, from Africa and from the Middle East. The experiences they shared with me is priceless. The most important lesson I learned was that everyone has value. Everyone has different life experiences and that their experiences only enrich my own. Those stories, those wonderful people who shared my space, if only for a short time, offered me an education that no money could possibly buy.
These people not only opened up their world to me but helped me to open my mind. To understand that everyone can offer us invaluable lessons that have the real potential for our own growth as human beings. To perhaps allow us to gain a little more potential toward a goal of humanity.
Yes, I have my license now. I am now able to withdraw from humanity, like the rest of our Western society. I can close my car door and shut out the world. I can now head out on the road and deal with those people who feel they are entitled to put my life in danger. I can now go to bed, secure in the knowledge that I am an active contributor to the continued financial wellbeing of the oil and gas companies.
Everyone tells me that I now have freedom. Do I? Do I really?