Stage 1 Adulthood + Driving

I am currently in what I call “the field of experience” stage of adulthood. I’m kind of getting my feet wet and learning lesson by lesson how everything works. I have everything I need to succeed: my Bible, the Holy Spirit, my parents, good counsel from friends and coffee (just kidding). Basically, everything is an adventure to me right now, even the smallest of things. So…the other night:

My responsibilities for the evening were to, a) get my little sister, myself and our car safely to a volleyball gym 30 minutes away in San Diego, b) to cheer like crazy for all of the volleyball teams, have a blast, text my parents updates on how my little sister was doing etc. c) get my little sister and myself (and the car) safely to where everyone was going to go eat and hang out, and d) to make sure I got my little sister, myself (and, yes, our car) safely home before 11:00pm (because apparently the state thinks that all of those 18 year olds out there are so much more responsible and capable than little old 17-year-old here of driving after 11:00pm without getting into trouble!! But I digress.) Simple enough, right? Driving, eating and cheering, driving. I can handle this.


Well, on the way home, I got lost. I made a wrong turn and returned to the restaurant to get directions to the freeway from one of the parents there.  I was embarrassed because I felt like an idiot; I was nervous because was now 10:30pm.  So I was cutting it close with the state law; and was getting directions through unfamiliar territory to an unfamiliar freeway—terror. I will not tell you if I cried (hint: I cried).

It is this part of my story that reminds me of quote from a current favorite program, Dr. Who… 🙂

The Doctor: ‘You know when grown-ups tell you everything’s going to be fine, but you really think they’re lying to make you feel better?’ 
Amelia: ‘Yeah…’
The Doctor: ‘Everything’s going to be fine.”
 (Dr. Who, Season 5)

Why was getting lost so scary? I mean, I’ve been lost in a car before, only one small difference—someone older, with experience, with knowledge and with an iPhone (i.e. Dad or Mom) was in control of the vehicle and responsible for my safety. That Friday night—it was all me. I was in charge of getting myself and my little sister home safely and I was in an unfamiliar place with a vague idea of how to get home. I never doubted that I would get home. That was not why I was scared. I was simply feeling the burden of responsibility and the simple fact that I could not give that responsibility away.

In the end we got home safely by 11:15pm (so I broke my state-inflicted curfew) and I collapsed in bed utterly exhausted. I would like to note, that my little sister was completely calm and peaceful the entire time.  She talked so sweetly and peacefully to me telling me, “It’s going to be okay Emily. We’re going to get home.  It’s okay.” She put complete trust in me as she prayed that God would give me peace and guidance. I love that girl.

I realized another step in the responsibility of adulthood.  I also learned that I never want to do it again! Here are some  lessons I learned for  next time:

1. Never, ever leave until I am sure of where I am going and how I am going to get there

2. Study Google Maps harder, or at least try to as a friend keeps telling me. 🙂

3. Always, always have my cell phone so that I can call someone who can help me

  • Sub-lesson: buy an iPhone

4. Never, ever panic again. One, it only makes things scarier, and two, it doesn’t help me figure things out.

There it is: a long, vulnerable story about me and one of my lessons on this journey of Stage 1 Adulthood.

God is good!


7 thoughts on “Stage 1 Adulthood + Driving

  1. Sub-lesson: Buy an Android phone


    In all seriousness, congratulations on surviving your first ah-crap-i-have-no-idea-where-I’m-driving situation. We’ve all been there, and like you already pointed out, you learned some tips on hwo to better handle it in the future. Erika, who is like you in not having a smartphone, likes to print out all of the directions she will need, going from point A to point B, point B to point C, point C back to point A, etc. Google Maps is a great friend to have. Also, kudos to the little sis for being an awesome support!

    • Ha-ha, thanks Stephen! I thought you were an Apple guy…

      Yeah I actually do the same thing with printing out the maps from Google. 🙂 Very helpful. In this specific case I had followed someone to the restaurant afterwards and forgot all the turns. Not going to do that again.

      Yup! She was great! So proud of her! 🙂

  2. I remember the first time I did a long trip by myself (Mt. Shasta to Stockton…about 4 hours). I felt like I was driving to the other side of the moon (no cell phones at the time) and it seemed huge. Looking back it was one freeway the entire way with a couple of turns after an exit…but it’s the experience from that trip on to the multitude of trips that I’ve taken since that let me look back on it as no big deal…it’s all perspective and experience and learning from what we go through. I love the fact that you are able to reflect on where you are at in life and write about it so eloquently…and I also like that one of your lessons learned is to buy an iPhone:) And I want to echo a BIG KUDOS to your little sister for her support and trust!

    • No phone! Like, you mean, you couldn’t contact anyone the instant you had a problem!?!?!?? 🙂 Ha-ha!

      Yeah, I’m trying to look for lessons in the everyday little lessons to take with me for the rest of my life. 🙂 It makes life way more interesting when I look past than what is just on the surface.

  3. Here’s a thought. Have your Dad take you out for a Father and Daughter date night, but, blind fold yourself when you get into the car and don’t take off said blindfold until you reach your destination. Then after you have had a wonderful time with your dad, grab the keys and try and find your way home. The place you go would be up to your Dad and while your driving back home you can only ask yes or no questions. Are we North of Escondido? Yes. Are we in Orange County? No. Is the 15 near by? Yes. It will give you time with Him and will give you wonderful memories. If you get turned around He’ll be right there to encourage you. 🙂

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