I miss you Paris, but I do not miss the traffic or the driving!

This week I did something that quite frankly scared the pants off me. 

Bit of a background first… for the past two years I have been living and working in France and Guinea (West Africa), which was fab.

Except for the whole driving a car caper.

Which was insane. And scary. Oh, and did I mention insane?

For starters you drive on the other side of the road (to Australia), then there are the teeny, skinny roads and laneways, and then there is the traffic (which includes complete loons on scooters). Insane. Overwhelming.

Add to this adjusting to living in a foreign country, learning new language, travelling regularly to West Africa (for work), settling the tribe into France, setting up a new home, and well, I let the fear of driving get the better of me, and I gave up on the driving caper. Completely.

The stress of it all just seemed too much. So for two years, I avoided driving a car.  I drove our trusty French car Pasquale the grand total of  two times, three if you count reversing out of the driveway (scary in itself). 

The fear of driving became this incredibly BIG fear for me.

 I knew that I needed to conquer the fear.  All around me, others were adjusting, but I chose to avoid it. Which was a whole lot easier really, I caught the Metro to work,  to Paris with the tribe, travelled to London via the Eurostar and walked…a lot.  Instead of jumping in the car to head to the shops, I walked.  Heading to the park? Walked. Catching up with friends? Walked.

Then I moved back to Australia.

When I arrived earlier this year I got a BIG new shiny  car (with four kids and a lovely husband you do kind of need a big car).  Which I promptly avoided driving. No matter how shiny and new that big car was, I did not want to get behind the wheel.  The thought of driving, parking, dealing with traffic filled me with dread. Before I knew it, I was catching the train, bus, anything to avoid driving.  A difficult and somewhat limiting thing to do if you work in the city, have four little kidlets to get to school, and you know, have a life!

I am always trying to teach my little tribe to face and conquer their fears. 

Scared of water? Let’s head to the local pool together and go for a splash.

Scared of dogs? Let’s visit a friend with a puppy and have a cuddle.

Which brings me to this week, and conquering my fears.

After a lot of procrastinating, stress, and general needless worrying, I finally conquered my fear of driving. It’s been a slow burn to get here. Over the past few months, I have been forcing myself to drive our shiny BIG new car. Volunteering to drive to do the shopping. Pick up the tribe from school. Whenever I can.

Then this week, I enrolled and completed a 2-day driving course for light vehicles and four-wheel drives (eg BIG cars).   Guess what? I passed, and better yet I thoroughly enjoyed myself! Since then my confidence has soared and I have my driving mojo back. Of course I can drive a car safely!  Why didn’t I tackle this in France? Why did I let irrational fear steal my driving mojo away from me in the first place?

Have you ever let fear get the better of you? How do you conquer your fears?

Enjoy xx

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