“Have you driven one of these before?”
“It’s PUSH TO START”. These statements came from the customer service representative at a Toyota dealership.
If only he knew.
I nodded in affirmative.
“just don’t fall in love with it”, he continued.
I had taken my car there three days ago for servicing. The wait time is usually hours but this time around I couldn’t wait as I had errands to run.
They had offered me a courtesy car to use meantime. That’s the car we were both checking out when he made those statements above👆🏽👆🏽👆🏽.
A 2018 Toyota Camry.
Right there, I remembered the days of little beginning.
Almost 11years ago June 30th, I was at this same Dealership. I had just passed my road driving test and gotten my license. Joggling full time school and work, I needed to reduce the wait times at the train station so made up my mind to get a car.
The plan was to buy a used car. Somehow I ended up buying a brand new car( When I was much younger I had promised myself that a Camry was going to be my first car, even though I had no idea how that was going to happen🤣🤣🤣).
Right there, as the sales person did their thing, I didn’t want a used one anymore.
The transaction was concluded and it was time to take my purchase home.
Suddenly, FEAR gripped me😱 and I realized I couldn’t summon the courage to drive that car myself.
Maybe because the car was new🤷♀️😁
I didn’t really have people in New York, having arrived the U.S.barely two years prior.
Then I remembered, I had a neighbor now turned family. I called Mr Tony Omoboye and told him my dilemma.
Without hesitation, he arranged for his Church brother( Segun) to accompany him so his own car will be driven back.
We embarked on the journey to my apartment.
About 500 feet or so from my street, he suddenly stopped the car and said “ oya come down and drive this car, you cannot buy a car and not drive it home. At least we have reached home nah”😂😂😂.
Then he went further by offering to show me the route to my job without me asking that favor( which I badly needed)🙏🏽🙏🏽🙏🏽.
Who says God is not interested in the affairs of people?
He drove with me the following day and we did two round trips from home to work, after which he then said I was good to go.
For almost a month thereafter, I would get into my car and for 10mins, just sit there with sweaty palms praying all manner of prayers before being bold enough to drive off.
On few occasions when I couldn’t conquer that fear, I elected to use mass transit.
About nine months later, armed with paper MapQuest and Garmin Nuvi GPS as back up, I went on a solo driver 7hr trip upstate New York for my niece’s graduation from Cornell. Major progress!
My trips out of state have exposed me to various models of rental cars as I get to pick what I want. So yes, I have driven PUSH TO START as far back as 2012 or so.
Currently, I have done driving maneuvers to the extent that I leave people looking at me. I parallel park into almost impossible spaces. This is New York!!!
Not too long ago, I performed a feat ( shocked myself too) that made a guy approach me and say “ you gotta show me where you learnt to drive like that”.
This is not to boast/brag.
I am showing how I have grown, after I was almost crippled by fear on that first day of my challenge.
Bro Thoney, I cannot thank you enough for those first two days. Your family became my second home. Sis Cecilia, God bless you.
What is stopping you from taking that bold first step?
You don’t need to see the end/outcome of a thing before you start. You don’t need to get it right the first time. Just start where and how you can.
Your heart may race every time you try that new thing out; it will get better.
The journey to perfection serves a purpose, after which you shall come out well refined.
I fell in love with the courtesy car though but they can’t get me until I am ready to be got 😂😂😂.
Pics of my car in 2008( with me standing), its present state in 2019 and the dealership’s courtesy car( silver).