First Solo Moment

There might be that rare individual out there that doesn’t know about self-doubt, but the rest of us all experience that first solo moment on a regular basis.  It is that moment when your training seems to abandon you as you must alter from student to responsible party.

Sadly there is no photo evidence of my first driver's license, so I'm substituting my son's.

Sadly there is no photo evidence of my first driver’s license, so I’m substituting my son’s.

I vividly remember the first moment when this phenomenon became apparent to me.  I was 15 and in Driver’s Ed.  I’d driven a simulator a few times and even the family car maybe twice with my dad.  Now the school had turned the summer empty, vast parking lot into a driving course.  Paint lines and orange cones covered the crumbling asphalt.  There was a row of compact cars on loan from a local dealership and the instructors were either installed at the top of the observation platform in the center of the lot, or standing in the grass on the edge.

I had been looking forward to this moment for ages.  While I waited my turn, I critiqued the performance of my classmates harshly in my mind and I could see from the facial expressions around me that I wasn’t alone in my hubris.

Then it was my turn and I was assigned to a car.  I believe it was a Volkswagen Fox. (Yes, this dates me.)  I climbed in and adjusted everything as I had been taught, the seat and all the mirrors.  Just before I was told that I could start the car, it hit me that I was alone in a vehicle for the first time in my life.  Additionally, the full responsibility of managing this machine landed squarely on my shoulders.  My ears stopped working and I had to carefully focus on how to breathe.  One of the instructors in the grass had to come over and tell me to start my car.

I don’t recall how I did on that course that day, but I know that I didn’t distinguish myself as I had hoped.  The biggest lesson from that day has remained the awareness of the importance of ‘getting in the driver’s seat’ but retaining the openness of a student.

© 2013 Practical Business | Reasonable Expectations

1 Comment

Filed under Work Life, Work Smarter

One response to “First Solo Moment

  1. Pingback: Shuffling through your Talents | Practical Business

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