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Online Open Book For People Who Are Learning How To Drive
When I moved from New York to Los Angeles two years ago, I didn’t know anyone or have any friends in the area. I didn’t know anyone to rent an apartment in LA. The only person I spoke to on the phone daily was a guy I was seeing at the time, a freelancer for a travel magazine.
Things were rough. I had no friends and no family, and my rent was just too damn expensive. I started looking for jobs from home on the internet to make ends meet, and the search yielded no hits. My friends and I learned how to cook (quickly), did some dog walking and gardening, and spent some hours putting together his car for his new work address.
I bought my own truck, because I didn’t have the money to bring the car. I built shelves to hold all my books from my old apartment in New York.
Eventually, I made friends with a couple of guys who worked together at a real estate firm. We were flying in from other states for work every week, and sometimes I ended up spending days and weeks in their car until there was enough air conditioning in the car to comfortably drive for a few hours.
I ended up spending those long weekends feeling like a kid again, just flying around, having fun with friends and pretending that we were summer camp counselors, not adult guys driving their own cars to work on the 405. We would get lost and end up at someone’s apartment (sometimes one of my friends wasn’t even home), and I got to play doodle with all the shirts on the front seat. It was a magical experience, and I’m so glad I had that.
But honestly, those were the only times I ever felt more comfortable driving a car. I know it sounds crazy, I know I didn’t get any better, but it’s true.
I became so lonely at night on the 405 because I didn’t know anyone. I had no one to call when I needed some advice, to ask for help with a surprise new craving.
I would often sit in my car while a late-night movie was playing on Netflix in my car, completely content, but waiting to feel like other people were around me because I felt so lonely in the car.
At night on the 405, it was easy to get lost, though, because there was no lighting to help you keep track of your position. By the time I got home I would feel like I had one little strange smile on my face.
All the bus stops along that stretch of highway were right next to my car. By the time I got back home in LA, I would have to have three or four smiles in my face before I felt like I was at home.
After I got home, I knew it was time to find a new car, and fortunately, I could find one in LA without the insane rent. I bought an inexpensive used car that worked, so I was able to bring it over and clean it up. It wasn’t as big as I would have liked, but it had a trunk that could hold everything I wanted to do with it. I got my own car and a nicer job.
Now my life feels just as comfortable as I was living in New York. I bought an apartment, bought furniture I needed, I decided to go back to school and my life is starting to feel just the way it was before I made the move.
I didn’t think I would ever feel the way I do now, driving a car without internet, without anyone to call me when I needed help, but I’m happy that I did, because I’m really starting to feel like I’m living a life that I know I should have been living, but wasn’t happy with.