A Test of Patience
This is a reminder to me, to make everyone feel safe when I’m driving.
Damn all of the tests and exams I did in high school, university and college. Yes, I graduated from all three institutions. In doing so, I succumbed to the opinions and whims of many teachers, professors and instructors.
You want to know what’s the most damning? Look where all that learning and eternal quizzing got me: a career path that’s disheveled and endlessly discouraging. Sometimes I long to live out the rest of my years on an Nepalese mountainside, actively practicing Buddhism. This past summer, I decided on a career path that’s designed to rescue me from visions of eternal career failure. Guess what I unwittingly pitted myself against? That’s right: more tests and exams.
In the truck driving business, you get trained to get tested. Yeah, I realize life in general is like that. But for the longest time I was evaluated on the type of work I was very good at: writing and relating. Continue reading
Driving Beyond Fear
Where will the road take me now that I have my truck driver’s license?
A few months ago, I hastily vowed to do something every day that scares the stuffing out of me. I was thinking along the lines of ordering a drink at Starbucks that I’d never tried before. I figured I’d work my way up from there. Eventually, I would try something like parasailing. Then along came this goofy idea to become a truck driver. It was my vision for salvaging my career, post journalism.
It’s a good thing I’m a little fearless. Otherwise, the last two months might have overwhelmed me. Driving an 18-wheeler is not for the faint of spirit. I learned to do it through many hours on the road and in the trucking yard. Recently, I learned that as scary as it is to drive the giant truck with an instructor beside you, it’s even more daunting to take a driver’s test with an examiner next to you, critiquing your every move.
If that’s not scary enough, how about driving a big rig with manual transmission, when you’ve never learned stick shifting in a car? Upshifting and downshifting is tough enough, but try doing it while still paying complete attention to all 70-plus feet of your tractor-trailer. That’s my current challenge. Judging by the buildup of tightness in my neck muscles, it’s been arduous. Continue reading