Let’s just get it out of the day.
      I took my road re-test yesterday, Sunday the 27th.
      I passed.
      It was pretty much as terrifying as expected. Here’s how the day went down:
      I got up after a nice, restful sleep. First time since the failure on Tuesday that I didn’t have nightmares about the whole thing, so that was nice. Mark and I spent the morning hanging out and playing Civ 3. I worked on my knitting a little, teensy bit (Abbie and I started this again recently…more on that later, also I swear to update on gaming soon!) to try and calm down. To be honest, I felt okay all morning. But then, on Tuesday, I was super confident and I choked.
      But the test was scheduled for 1:30pm and we were going to leave the house by 11:30 so we’d be up there early to get some practice in (if there was time) or in case there was a chance to start ahead of time – like if someone earlier in the day choked 3 minutes into the test like I did on Tuesday. So by about 9 that morning, I was in full-on freak out mode. I was alternately ABSOLUTELY SURE that I would pass and then TOTALLY UTTERYLY CONVINCED that I would fail.
      God bless Mark for his patience. I was probably driving him nuts.
      We showered, we dressed, we showed up early.
      The sister-school peeps were up there, waiting on one of the three of them to finish his test. Since I choked Tuesday but needed to re-test urgently (to start at the new company) one of my instructors called in a favor and they crammed me in on Sunday, intending that since the sister-school’s truck would be up there, because their test candidates would be using it, I could just use that and my school wouldn’t have to bring a truck up and interrupt the weekend class’ schedule.
      Only when we introduced ourselves (Mark and I) the instructor from the sister-school expressed some… disbelief… because no one had told him that I was coming to use his truck.
      …long story short, it worked out. I was able to use their truck.
      It was a rolling dumpster. I mean, gross. Dirty, broken, horrible. Hardly seemed legal, to be honest. But, whatever.
      I couldn’t get the seat to feel right. One of the mirrors wouldn’t adjust (had to move it by hand – fun!). The steering wheel was cracked. The whole beast was in desperate need of realignment… I could go on.
      But the examiner let me take a few minutes to adjust it, helped me figure out how to get the seat from the “reclined” setting (okay, it wasn’t really reclined far, but I felt like I was laying back for a nap the way these dudes had it configured), let me drive in a big circle to shift a couple times, and was basically just very helpful.
      And then it was time to start the test.
      I pulled up to that fucking turn that I choked at – the one at the lamp post, before I even officially left the parking lot, the one that had been haunting my dreams and had me hyperventillating and panicking – and I rolled through it like a BOSS!
      Perfect. Easy.
      And we were off.
      Right out onto Industrial Road, then right again at the light which looped right again and onto the highway. I hardly had a chance to upshift to ninth before traffic just got insanely dense… But damn it, I was upshifting and downshifting like a queen in all that stop-and-go, keeping following distance, checking my mirrors, basically being awesome! We *almost* got off on Progress Ave., but instead went up to Jonestown Rd and headed up that, then followed the road up to Route 22, back to Cameron (I think) and up on to 322. We got off at Linglestown, made a left back onto Industrial Rd., and a left back into the yard.
      Now, I say with confidence that I did pretty dang well. Hindsight is 20/20.
      But during the test, I did futz my gears a time or two. I did great with my turns (no where NEAR any curbs, tyvm!) but once I almost stalled because I’d pulled out in third gear (because I was on a bit of a decline) and then couldn’t get into the next gear because I was sort of going downhill and then I couldn’t find my gear – but I didn’t coast, I recovered, and I was able to get it into a higher gear than expected. The examiner was super helpful at that moment, but I was SURE I had fucked it up and pointed out.
      When we got back to the yard, she had me circle around the pull up for the guys to take their truck home.
      She hadn’t had me to an emergency pull-off, so I just… I was sure I’d failed.
      And then just as I set my airbrakes, she said – “Okay, Josie. Tell me, what would you do if this were an emergency?”
      I blinked. I didn’t even understand for like, four or five whole heartbeats. And then I told her and she said, “Great.”
      And then “I just need your ID and permit, to get it stamped.”
      “My- what?”
      “You passed.”
      … I was SHAKING. I mean, the whole test my heart was in my throat and I thought I might faint and it was so so so stressful. And then it was over and she said I passed and I almost fell over with gratitude and I couldn’t get my wallet out of my coat fast enough and I told her I was going to cry and she said, “Hey, at least its tears for a good reason” and this is a run-on sentence, isn’t it?
      Well, Mark was so proud. I did the Snoopy dance. I didn’t care who saw.
      I passed. I passed. I passed.
      …but now we have to go drive for real.
      Wish me luck, guys.

Signed, Josie
Note: Image is “Sunset Run” by Julian Boswell from SXC.hu

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