Why I'm A 32-Year-Old Who Still Can't Drive

Nothing seems to grind people's gears more than learning I don't drive.

I can't, to be exact. I don't have a license or even my L's or P's.

I think it's important to be honest here, because I really want to drive my point home, given it's the only thing I can drive.

So in the spirit of honesty, let me confess that I don't particularly enjoy not being able to (legally) get behind a wheel. But it's been so long since I seriously considered learning how that I now feel trapped in a state of spite-filled inertia that only grows whenever someone asks me why I don't drive.

Let's rewind, shall we?

The day I turned 16 I lined up to take my driver's licence test and I failed. A hard lesson for a very nerdy teen.  So, I waited the required time -- pumped up my confidence -- and took the test again, and again I failed.

Sure, there's a great lesson in this that can only now be appreciated. But back then all I felt was shame, and so I put the brakes on my driving ambitions and parked that part of my life.

It never really bothered me. I've always lived close to the city so I could easily jump on a bus when I went to university. Now, I work in the city, and public transport is still the easiest way to get to and from work.

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I'm also in incredibly good company with a number of non-driving celebrities including Robbie Williams, Carey Mulligan and Tina Fey.

Going out isn't really an issue, either. Whenever I drink I just get an Uber. Plus, no one ever bothers to ask me to be the DD aka designated driver.

But then I had a baby, and things got considerably harder -- and now I'm getting sick and tired of it all.

I'm sick of having to arrange my life around Sydney's infamously unreliable public transport system. I'm sick of having to carry my daughter and all her baby related paraphernalia on very crowded buses with very busy people who huff and puff a lot. And I'm sick of needing something up the road and, after a long day, having to walk up instead of just being able to hop in the car.


This piece was going to be about my steadfast refusal to bow down to social expectations. It was supposed to have been peppered with words like 'rebel' and 'resistance' and 'revolt'.

But the more I thought about that 16-year-old girl whose self-esteem and confidence was so shattered by that silly little test, the more I realised my decision not to drive had nothing to do with anyone else -- it was all just  a big hangup of mine I'd never really wanted to acknowledge.

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The whole spite act I'd been playing, you know -- 'I won't drive just to spite everyone who says that I should' -- was just that, a bullshit game I was playing with myself so I didn't have to revisit that feeling of failure.

Wow, that got deep quickly.

On that note, I've decided I'm going to hit the road in 2019. Legally, of course. There, I'm going to let myself be accountable and use the next year to shift gears and not only overcome that long-held hangup but also to get my license.

So you better all buckle up, because it's going to be a very bumpy ride (for everyone involved).

Feature Image: Getty