This I Believe

Mariya - Van Nuys, California
Entered on May 19, 2006
Age Group: 18 - 30

Don’t Let Your Fears Stop You

When I was a little girl I never knew that my biggest fear would stop me from living my life. I was never the type of a person who doesn’t do something because of fear. If I was told not to do something because it is dangerous, I would go out of my way just to do it. But then suddenly my life took an unexpected turn.

I was at least eight when early in the morning my mentor had let me drive a golf cart. It was great and I was doing a great job until I got to a narrow passage between two walls. Suddenly I started panicking and I froze on the spot. I felt like someone took over my body and I couldn’t think or move. I was just sitting there and staring at the walls. We would have definitely crashed if my mentor didn’t slam her leg over mine on brakes. This was my first frightening experience that had built the foundation for my growing fear. Ever since that day my fear of cars and driving started growing. I had no problem of other people driving but whenever I had a slightest thought of being behind the wheel the panic would come over me.

When I turned seventeen many of my friends were already driving. I wanted to drive but I couldn’t get myself even to try. I was too scared to even sit behind the wheel. Then one of my best friends talked me into going with her to a driving school. I went there and finished the classes, but I never went to DMV to take the test because I knew that then I would have to start taking the driving classes.

But time was pushing and I was about to start college and I would have to take two busses to get to school. Then my friend Diane started teaching me how to drive in her car in the parking lot. Slowly by practicing with her I was no longer as afraid of driving as I used to be. She encouraged me and gave me the first push get a teacher and take a driving test. I passed the driving test first time I took it. But the biggest lesson that I learned from driving was that I shouldn’t let my fear keep me from doing or trying new things.