Six months later... - The Dainty Squid

Six months later...

Thursday, November 21, 2013

It's kind of hard to believe but today is my six month anniversary of getting my license! Hooray!
Six months ago today, right after getting my license.

On one hand it feels like I've had my license forever but at the same time, I can't believe it's been six months already. I can without a doubt say it's been the best six months ever for me. Getting my drivers license was the very best thing I could have done for myself this year. I can't even imagine life without it now. I'm still confident that waiting so long was the best decision for me. If you're not ready to drive, you shouldn't drive. But it was finally, absolutely positively, my time to get it.

Until I started driving I never realized how great it was to shop alone, how much I would enjoy cruising down the road singing at the top of my lungs, how amazing it would be to explore new places any time I wanted, how my car could become a kind of safe place to me. I could list the things I love about driving until my fingers were sore from typing but I'll spare you the silly list that I'm not sure anyone would really understand unless they waited a while before getting their license. I just never realized how great of a feeling it would be to sit down in my car and just know that it's mine and it can take me anywhere I want to go whenever I want.
Getting my license has helped me grow in so many ways. It's given me the opportunity to meet new people and see new places. It's also helped me begin to break out of my shell. I'm still not a social butterfly (I don't think I ever will be) but I've seen incredible progress in how I interact with strangers. People are always shocked to read about how shy I am since I share so much of myself on the internet daily but prior to getting my license I was sickeningly shy. The kind of shy where I hated ordering my own food, would probably stand behind you when checking out at a store (after I shoved my cash in your hand and made you pay for my things) and generally avoided talking to anyone I didn't know...and maybe those I did know too. So much has changed since then!

Here's a short list of things that sound kind of silly but were big accomplishments in my book and wouldn't have been possible without my license:
•  Literally just going places alone when I first got my license was a big deal. Cashiers aren't scary, who knew? Haha. 
Volunteering for WMC Fest - Crowded place, all alone, didn't know anyone but ended up having a blast. I look forward to volunteering next year!
I broke down in Pittsburgh which is two and half hours away from home. I went to start my car and the dang thing would start. Even though this was just a few months back it sounds so dumb now but it was super huge deal for me to call for help. I hate talking on the phone. I will do just about anything to avoid talking on the phone. I called AAA (holy cow, thank ceiling cat for AAA!), they jumped my car and got me heading home. That situation to Kaylah from a year ago sounds unimaginably scary but even typing that now sounds a little strange that it was even a big deal at all.
I met Mickey! Mickey had been emailing me for months suggesting we hang out and I avoided it like the plague. Finally I agreed to meet her and I literally have no idea why I was nervous about it. My shyness was preventing from letting people in and I'm not down with that.
• All my mini road trips! Pittsburgh, Sandusky, Akron, Philadelphia, and more! I didn't know I'd love exploring so much.
Without my license Lloyd wouldn't be living in Philadelphia right now. 
Some places I've visited in the past six months...

Like I said, it's been a really amazing six months. I plan on continuing to push my own boundaries and to put myself in more situations that make me uncomfortable. With winter coming I'm sure my driving adventures will slow down just a bit because of the snow but hopefully they won't come to a halt. Next spring I'd really like to take a road trip. A real bona fide road trip (I know I'm making my mom sweat just typing that. Haha) but I know I can handle it and I can't imagine anything more fun than hitting the road and just driving. I'm so thankful for my car. Here's to many more years of driving, growing as a person and exploring all that there is to see!
xoxo

PS. Here are two related links : 1. A post about my first car. 2. A post on why I waited so long.

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37 thoughts

  1. Hi Kaylah!! Its so gr8 to know that just getting a license and driving has brought so many positive changes to your life. I too love driving. I ride a bike and it's truly therapeutic for me. Just to know that you can go anywhere anytime is so liberating. Thanks for this lovely post :)

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  2. I totally get it! I only waited until I was about 20 to get licensed, but my thing was city driving. I put it off until just last year (24 years old), because I was so so cripplingly scared of doing it. When my boyfriend moved to Pittsburgh from rural VA, it was either get over it and go with him, or be apart-- so I decided to get over it. Now I can drive anywhere! So freeing!

    Elyse @ Cuddly as a Cactus

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  3. What a great milestone! Your fears are not silly and no accomplishment is too small. It's wonderful that you celebrate all the "little" things. I think it's important in looking at how far you come. You have been an inspiration to me because I also have driving anxiety! I'm slowly working at it. Seeing you go on your adventures looks so fun and makes me want to go on my own mini adventures. This is something that's possible now that I got my first car too ( at the age of 27). Congrats! I'm so proud of you :)

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  4. I am so happy to read about how far you've come with your shyness - I definitely need to work on that myself. Traveling is definitely the best part of having a car. I am not a big fan of the daily driving I do but if you put a few hundred miles in front of me? Oh man. Bring it on! Before my husband moved down here to be with me permanently, I would drive 7 1/2 hours to Philadelphia in the middle of the night (because I hate traffic) and it was the best! Blaring music, no one else really on the road, and time to just be alone.

    I avoid the phone like the plague too!! I actually just included that fact about myself over on my blog yesterday. I just haaaate talking to strangers on the phone. Ordering pizza? Forget it. I would always make my mom (or now my husband) do it for me!

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  5. yay! i don't drive as much since i don't own a car, but it's such a freedom being able to at least :)
    xo, cheyenne

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  6. i just want to tell you how incredibly happy this post makes me, and how proud i am of you for it all! i guess that sounds silly considering we don't know each other that well, but i understand in my experience how that shyness feels (like all my life up until two years ago) and i'm proud of myself for overcoming certain things too. basically i'm just so happy you're happy!

    ps - i literally have a pile of things accumulating that i want to send to you but life has gotten waaaay in the way lately. i'm working on it! hope everything is awesome with you, girl. <3 xo!

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  7. I am just so happy for you!! You've inspired me so much. I'm still getting used to driving (basically I drive from my apartment to my parent's house and back haha) but I'm determined to be able to drive to the beach by myself by next year. I'm also horribly, painfully shy and it's really nice to know I'm not the only one that thinks calling AAA and talking to another person is a huge accomplishment :)

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  8. We have so much in common that I never would've guessed. I love home. Home is wonderful. But, after talking to a stranger or having to put myself in an uncomfortable position to do something, I usually realize that I'd made a mountain out of a mole hill. Shy girls unite! Not really...but maybe eventually when we've made more progress, haha. :)

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  9. I am 35 (with 4 kids) and have yet to drive -if ever. I think part of my resistance is everyone telling me I should. Tell me I 'Should' do something and I'm not likely to do it.

    I love reading about grown up new drivers though. Now this makes me think of getting behind the wheel :)

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  10. I got mine last year along with my first car so I know how you feel! It's great being able to not ask for rides and feeling bad for it.

    I dont venture out as much as you do but I just might now!

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    1. Totally. It's so great to not have to ask for rides for silly tasks.

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  11. I *really* need to start learning myself, i'm 27 and never needed to learn or drive until I made the move to the US and it's kinda hard getting around when you have your own two legs to rely on and and not-the-best bus service. I'm shy too, and I guess I somewhat live in my shell at home so maybe, just maybe i'll try in the spring to get behind the wheel, although then I remember just how people drive in metro Detroit and that panics me enough to never learn!

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  12. Road trips are amazing! And since you're all about trying new things, I HIGHLY suggest couchsurfing! It is awesome!

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  13. I'm so happy for you! Driving is an amazing freedom. No waiting around for buses :) It sounds like you have done more in your 6 months than I've done in 5 years of driving!
    Rosie x | Every Word Handwritten

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  14. Congrats on all accomplishments!
    I love driving...but not here during traffic times. Otherwise, I find it relaxing! (also, most San Diegans freak out at rain for some reason. It's unbearable to drive at the first winter rain)

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  15. Good for you, Kaylah! I used to be chronically shy to a similar point. When I started going to college I quickly overcame my shyness because I was forced to talk and interact with people that I didn't know in class. Now I can talk to strangers and it's not as big of a deal as it used to be. I still judge myself sometimes, but not to the extent that it keeps me from living my life like it did before. So kudos to you. <3

    I didn't get my license until I was almost 24 years old! Two and a half months later I got into a car accident that completely destroyed the frame of my vehicle. I did love driving for the short time that I did, and it felt great not having to ask anyone for rides. You can just get up and go jump into adventures! :D

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  16. Congrats girl! this most be one of my resolutions (with learn to drive)

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  17. Isn't the feeling of freedom driving gives you amazing? Congratulations!

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  18. I know exactly how you feel. I've had my license for about 5 years and I still get really scared if I have to drive to a new place or with new people in the car. I agree that if someone isn't ready to drive, they shouldn't. My fiance had a lot of bad experiences in cars when he was younger, so now driving is something he is scared of doing. Most people don't understand that, so it's really refreshing to see someone who does.

    And calling people is the absolute worst thing ever! I keep saying that everything should have an online option now so that I don't have to call anyone. lol.

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  19. Congratulations! It's reassuring to know that somebody else hates talking on the phone, ordering food, and talking to cashiers as much as I do. I could relate to all of that. I've made myself sick worrying about making phone calls in the past, and run if somebody tries to pass the phone on to me before they end their call to a friend or relative. I've always been painfully shy, but I'm nowhere near as bad as I was a decade a go. Learning to drive is still on the bucket list, but I'll get there one day!

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    1. Dude, yes. Holidays always are the worst when it comes to the phone getting passed around. I always end up darting around the house to avoid someone passing the phone to me.

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  20. I can't wait to hear more about your upcoming road trip! That will just be so exciting - you go, girl!

    p.s. I have that NASA shirt, too :)

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  21. I waited a good 4 years after my friends before I got my license (which I finally got a week ago)! I agree that if you're not ready to drive, then you shouldn't, and I am sharing the same excitement as you are when it comes to going out on little adventures and not knowing what the heck you'd do without your car/license! Congrats on the 6 month mark, and hope to read more about any future adventures :)

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  22. Hello Kaylah! It's so refreshing to hear about other peoples stories about shyness. I'm so shy that I also avoid people at all costs. I refuse to go outside if my neighbors are out there. Gosh it would be awful if they greeted me good morning, right? I get into arguments with my parter about why it's so important that HE call the electric company, and not me. Although it probably seems weird to most, I get nervous when my boyfriends parents call me or message me. "WHAT DO I SAY?" That's me.
    Visiting your blog is something I do on a daily basis. You're so rare and interesting. I'm sure you hear that all the time, but just wanted to say "Thank you" for giving all of your followers a sneak peak into your life. It truly brightens my days.
    p.s. Have you ever thought about visiting the east coast? I live in Asheville, North Carolina and it's so stunning here. Water falls and breathtaking views, and hikes galore! I'm not sure if you've ever heard about the Biltmore house but it's also here in Asheville. I've been a few times and it's astonishing. Plus there's beautiful gardens and ponds on the grounds. If you ever feel like planning a trip this way, let me know! I have a Tumblr that I rarely use, and I believe we mutually follow each other. I can be reached there.
    Have a great day!

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    1. Haha. I really hate talking to my neighbors too. I'll wait until they're inside before I go out too. It's not that I don't like them, they're super nice, I just don't really want to talk.

      Yeah, I mean, eventually I'd like to visit all of the US but NC isn't at the top of my list but I'm sure I'll get there eventually. ;)

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  23. So good to know I'm not the only shy person out there... I *know* I'm not but it sure can feel that way sometimes. I'm so happy for you that you're collecting new adventures and whatnot. I remember learning to drive at 16 (I thought I was sooo old, lol) - it was super nerve-racking and stressful but once I got my license, I hit the ground running, haha. I loved the freedom of not being "stuck" at home (we lived out in the country) and being able to go explore on my own (usually just to youth group or to get coffee, but still). Learning to drive is seriously one of the most overwhelming things to go through, I think, but once you get it, you're set :o) Sometimes I wish I didn't have to drive because being a homebody is fun some days ^_____^

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  24. I'm so happy to hear about all the wonderful ways getting your license has helped you break out of your shell! I absolutely know how you feel in regards to being sickeningly shy. (Especially phone calls, oh golly, THE PHONE CALLS!) I look forward to reading more about your adventures (which I'm super jelly of, btw)

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  25. Just a tip for winter driving! Maybe put some bags of cat litter or salt in the trunk - it helps minimize fishtailing!

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  26. I can totally relate to what you're saying. I got my license 4 months and it has completely changed what I am able to do. I have to say I would not be doing the job I am now without it and my trusty car. We've had some panics along the way, yes mine's refused to start too, but I love driving and the freedom it gives me!
    Good for you waiting and getting your license. happy motoring!
    Kate xx

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  27. You broke down in my beautiful city! Pittsburgh has some of the craziest roads/intersections ever!! Taking all those mini road trips sounds like a blast, I love to do those kinds of things too!!

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  28. Sheesh! I'm super impressed because I've had my license for years and you've had considerably more adventures than me... I need to get back into the the exploring part of driving. I use to do more of the exploration driving when I lived in alabama, but since moving to florida I havent been so keen on getting back to my road warrior ways. *shrug* I really should get back into taking little trips. There's so much to see.

    Oh and congrats on overcoming so much of your shyness :) I get super anxious around crowds and strangers so I understand where youre coming from. Thumbs way up to you darlin!

    ~Caleisha
    Apartment 203

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  29. congrats on your new experiences! i hope i can keep growing and opening myself up like you have. also, i work for AAA (yay) and in my club you can place a roadside service request online. if you (or anyone out there) doesn't like the phone (and i can totally relate), i would see if your club offers that.

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  30. I just recently got my license and I've been so scared before hand of failure and what would happen if I attempted the test. So far it has been very rewarding and I'm looking forward to using it to my greatest advantage! And hopefully soon I'll go on many adventures like you have 8) !

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