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Lessons on Traffic and Patience

Cheyanne Beaumont | Editor

Despite being 23 next month, I’ve only had my driver’s license for two years. Being from the city, there wasn’t an emphasis placed on getting it when I was in high school at all. You really had everything you needed close enough to either enjoy a walk, know someone who had a car, or could take a bus, train, or even an Uber for relatively cheap. 

Moving to the Lehigh Valley changed everything for me. Ubers cost more, public transport seems more confusing than SEPTA for some reason, and things are not close together whatsoever unless you live closer to center city Bethlehem or Allentown. To make a long story short, I was forced to adapt. 

I practiced like a madwoman for my driver’s test. I even bought traffic cones to practice parallel parking in an empty parking lot, and I allotted 2 hours a day to practice for a month. I remember being so nervous for the exam, specifically for the parallel parking portion since everyone always makes it sound like the most difficult part. Well, I failed the first time. But not because of the parallel parking! It was because I rolled the stop sign, or so the instructor told me. Where I come from, Philadelphia, a “rolling stop” is a signature rule of the road…just kidding. 

A few weeks later and I passed my second try, aced the parallel parking portion, did everything right. I got the PENNDOT special of an unsatisfactory ID photo, but it was a call for celebration. In driving for (almost) two years there are still more little significant milestones. It took me a little while to get the confidence to drive on Route 22. And despite being a parallel parking extraordinaire, I only reversed parked for the first time into a parking space last week. 

A fact of life is that the older we get, depending on where we are, we can feel pressured. Maybe we feel we waited too long to start something, or we feel rushed to catch up. The older I get the more I realize life’s path is not so linear or clear-cut. Some people catch green lights all the way through to the finish line, even though life shouldn’t be a race. Others get stuck at every light, some people go toll-routes. The thing is, it’s different for all of us. 

When I took my driving test the first time, I don’t know if it was the nerves or the promise of freedom that made me rush a little bit, that made me hesitate a full stop. Either way, thanks to traffic on 22 daily, or the bumper-to-bumper traffic I experienced on 76 last Friday, what driving has taught me these past two years is more patience. 

In the end, there’s no rush to get to the end goal, it’s not going anywhere. Take your time, don’t be afraid to try and fail. In some situations you literally are stuck waiting for the opportunity to go, don’t force your way in. Go at your own pace, in the end, you’ll get to your destination. 


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