These days I’ve been having the same picture on my mind over and over again. If I’m being honest, it’s not one I’ve dwelt on for longer than a little moment before now and I’ve often just moved on soon after, but lately, it’s there; as vivid as it’s ever been.
I think I want to get a driver’s license.
As I stated, driving is not something I’ve truly considered in-depth and every time I did, it was never more than a fleeting thought. I’d never thought of it as impossible per se, but I had never really given it enough thought to get to the point of making an attempt either.
Growing up in Italy was a unique experience. I got driven to school and back in private vehicles that were adapted for a wheelchair as the town buses just weren’t reliable at all and expecting things to be accessible back then was asking too much, unfortunately (not much changed). Then I moved to Manchester for university, and damn, it was like a different world. Accessibility is not perfect here by any means, but it’s a big step up from where I was.
All of a sudden, I could count on buses to have ramps, black taxis and trams were accessible too, and well, I did a lot of exploring with all those means. Being able to make arrangements and meet appointments on time – on my own terms – knowing I would be able to find a wheelchair accessible means of transportation was life-changing. It gave me a great sense of freedom and some much-needed independence to be able to come and go as I pleased without having to rely on anyone, and it may not seem like much, but that meant a whole lot to me.
I loved taking the bus.
Almost everyone I ever met, has said the complete opposite; they hate taking crowdy sweaty buses on late evenings and public transport wouldn’t be their ideal way of getting around. But for me, it meant FREEDOM. It meant I could finally get on a crowdy sweaty bus and for a while, that was something I loved doing.
The only downside to that was trying to squeeze through that same crowd of people to get into the tiny wheelchair spot in between two prams or whenever the driver didn’t hear the stop bell ring and drove passed my stop or when the taxi had the wrong kind of ramp and I had to book a different one. I did say it isn’t perfect!
Last Friday, we went on a short road trip down to Coventry to drop off my younger sister at university and my elder sister drove. We drove through the greens surrounding the motorway and I kept imagining what it would be like to drive such a distance.
My burning desire to drive is just one of the many things I’ve imagined doing lately. This year, more than ever, where we had so much time to ourselves, I learnt that imagination alone won’t take you where you want to be.
It is true that to see is to believe, and if you can’t imagine yourself doing something, chances are you never will. Likewise, however, your imagination won’t cut it when it comes to ensuring you get what you want.
We can all imagine a better life; a life where we rule every aspect of it and never lose ourselves in the process. Our imagination can be as far and wide as we want it to be, depending on how creative your mind is you can be next Beyoncé (a bit bold there, huh?) or you can travel the world for a living. But there’s only so much you can do in your mind. After all, the only thing that can get you results is hard, hard work and initiative.
I mean, imagination without initiative will, without a doubt, result in nothing but disappointment and further discouragement. How can you get something you’ve never tried getting before? How can you thrive in an industry you’ve never tried stepping into?
Yes, some people get ‘lucky’ and find themselves thrust into a situation that brings them a little closer to their dreams, but even then, without their own will to survive and achieve, they too will be tossed by the wayside and let go of.
While the things you draw up in your mind with vivid colours might get you fired up and excited about the new opportunities in front of you, that won’t do all the work. You have to do all the work and then maybe, just maybe, luck might meet you somewhere in the middle.
Frankly, today’s ON SECOND THOUGHT is basically a pep talk to me, and maybe you too find yourself in a similar situation.
I’ve bought the driving test app and have been researching adapted vehicles online to help keep my eyes on the prize. I’ve set things in motion and all that’s left is execution. The road to getting what I want looks far still, but I’ll get there for sure as long as I take a new step each day.
So, this week, step out of your imagination and chase the little big dreams you’ve been carrying with you.
Do it. Do it. Do it.
Your restless romantic roamer
What is something you are taking steps to achieve?