F Minus

by Neka Barrera

“A lot of my adult decisions are based on convenient parking” is what her brother had said yesterday when there was zero convenient parking available and their very adult decision to go shopping for artisanal balsamic vinaigrettes was completely derailed because of it. She’d given this statement a lot of thought since, because unlike her brother and the majority of the world, she’d never gotten her driver’s license. At the end of driver’s ed. in high school, her instructor had issued her a month’s-worth pre-loaded bus pass as a joke for how terrible she was at driving. She vaguely knew the differentiation between the letters “P” and “D” on the gearshift, and could never remember which pedal meant stop and which pedal meant go. The first time she tried to open the car door, she broke the key. Needless to say, no one else got set up with a complimentary bus pass at the end of that semester as she quickly realized that she was steadily becoming the only person in her grade riding the bus to school the following year.

She wondered a lot about what her own adult decisions are based on, if not convenient parking. She started to realize, though perhaps a stretch, that a lot are based around the insecurities that experiences like her driver’s ed. class 9 years ago had instilled in her, never fully leaving her consciousness. That of a teacher suggesting her inability to ever be able to drive stuck with her, and transferred over to other aspects of her life at that formative age, translating into a belief that not getting something right once equated into never getting it right in the future. She began to recognize patterns in her behavior when learning new skills, trying new hobbies- if success didn’t happen immediately, there was no point in continuing to try, so she usually didn’t.

A few days later, when she told her brother about the rabbit hole she’d gone down thinking about what he’d said about convenient parking, he responded that she was “being overly sensitive, stop thinking about what happened back then, the past is the past and that’s where it stays. Driver’s ed. didn’t follow you into your late twenties, you just suck at driving and it’s fine.” She never tried bringing it up to anyone again.

You can connect with Neka on Instagram.

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