Drivers Ed: Accepting Mediocrity

When I was 15 I missed the exact number of questions allowable on the written exam for my driver’s permit. When I was 18, I failed my driving test twice, and on the charmed third attempt I was given my license. This year, upon getting my license in California (which, requires a written exam), you guessed it, I failed with flying colors. Now of course, I did pass the exam and received my license the next day– but looking back at these failed attempts resulting in success (if you’d even call it that), I’ve learned a very valuable life lesson.

There are a few things in life, however important they might be, at which you’re just going to either fail miserably or at most, just scrape by enough to survive. Now this is certainly a concept which I’ve fought against since I can remember. With society telling me that anyone can succeed if they try hard enough, and Pinterest quotes reminding me of all of the successful celebrities who have experienced numerous failures only to persevere and achieve greatness, and my own mother ceaselessly reminding me of just how awesome I am; it has been a bit difficult to wrap my mind around the concept of accepting being less than mediocre at anything, let alone something that attributes to me being a successful adult. But, as I dry the tears that come every time I pay my auto insurance, I remember the wise words offered from my sister as we headed to an alternate restaurant after I accidentally turned in on the itty-bitty Fiat in the parking lot (no worries, there was no damage to the car, just my ego).

Morgan, you’re just not a good driver, and that’s okay.”

Now of course, between her giggles and my crying, all I heard at the time was how horrible a driver I was. Not that this was anything new, my driving record alone was enough to alert me to that; but in that moment, having it put so plainly was devastating. All adults could drive well, why am I so horrible? What other things was I going to fail attempting? Does this mean I’m not the responsible, successful adult that my mind tells me I am?

After I had another minor incident in which I ripped the rear bumper off of a Ford Escape (I promise it wasn’t all my fault), I remembered the words of my sister. She wasn’t saying I’m an awful driver, she was just saying I’m not good at it, and reminding me that it’s okay to not be. As I’ve continued my journey on the winding road through adulthood, I’ve realized that it’s no big deal. I’m a cautious driver, because I know I’m not the best at it. I don’t have road rage, because I’m definitely the one making up my own rules of the road. I suck it up and pay a small piece of my soul each month for car insurance, because making left turns and driving in reverse are necessary evils. There are things in life, be they driving or keeping plants alive or even changing my niece without getting poo on my fingers that I just won’t get yet, or even ever, but so longs as I do an acceptable job at them it’s okay. Right?

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