Beginner’s Guide to Driving: What my First Month of Driving Taught me about Me and Life

1. It takes all the guts (in the world) and all the strength (of your being esp. your legs) to drive home for the first time a manual car from Caloocan to Pasig on a Saturday rush-hour night along EDSA.

Yes, guts – oh, and air. I think I forgot to breathe the whole time. First thing I did when I finally got home – took a deep breath because I literally am shaking and felt so weak on my knees.

Lesson: When others doubt, bring all your guts with you and prove them wrong. And when the fear is trying to make its way to you, sing.  It’s a beautiful distraction and it supplies you that much-needed oxygen.

2. It takes a lot of patience and self-control to getting where you want to go and driving says a lot about your personality more than you can ever imagine.

Admit it, driving is sometimes an ego-boosting-thing. It feels like an accomplishment whenever you’re able to overtake one car after the other. And it’s always so tempting to cut someone on their way just so you can have it your way. But really, is it necessary?

Lesson: Stay on your lane and give way – these still remain the surest way to getting home safe. Remember: no rush! Unless you have a delivery or an emergency.

3. No matter how careful you are, if some people are not, you’ll still end up getting scratched.

Just like in life – you try to be nice but if others are not naturally like that, you’ll still be affected or get hurt and the only thing left is for you to accept it.

Lesson: Always always be careful on the road because even if others are not – at least you did your part.

4. Rearview mirror is way more than like your pocket mirror for that instant make-up and re-touch.

I now treat my rearview mirror my trusted guide. I may get a little view on my side but it’s always at the rearview where I am sure to get a complete picture of what’s happening behind my back … and it feels like, someone’s always got my back no matter what.

Lesson: Take a look back where you’ve gone and that will give you the assurance that hey, everything’s alright, you may proceed – just go ahead and move on.

5. Signal is everything.

This is what connects you to the other drivers on the road – the silent way to communicate and to understand one another so you better be good at reading signals. And it’s two way – you should better be good at giving signals as well.

Lesson: Only give signals that you are sure of – signals that are clear to you and to the other people and this applies not just in driving but in real life, too. Trust me – lesser complications happen when you do this.

6. If you know where you want to go, even if you do not know how to go there, you’ll always, always end up being there.

The fun part is, there will always be someone who’ll either show you the way or help you find the way. And this earned me new friends. True, reading road signs will do, but sometimes, asking is way better. You only have to admit you don’t know and accept the fact that there are people who know better than you.

Lesson: Buy a map. Choz. Explore. Do not be afraid of getting lost and of asking for help. The adventure’s worth all the risks.

7. It takes all the sweats in your forehead and all the anxiety there is (especially if you know you’re being watched) to having a decent and perfect parking.

If you find driving easy and you think you’re okay already, wait until you have to park! Looking for a parking space is already a challenge but knowing the different ‘techniques’ to do it – scary.

Lesson: A park boy is a BIG help especially when you’re parked at the roadside. And the coins … you should never ever leave without coins. You’ll need it as much as you need the parking boys.


My driving’s not perfect yet but then, just like everything in life … it takes time. Just don’t let other people’s doubts overpower your own capability. If you know you can, do it! Just enjoy everything.

Remember: Every start of the engine is another start of a whole new amazing experience. Happy driving! Love, Rikki.


What do you think of this? Love, Rikki.

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