My emotional state while learning to drive a manual transmission ranged from hesitation to exhilaration, from extreme stress to almost success. Luckily I had a pretty patient guy in the passenger seat to see me through the lesson. He urged me to continue when I felt like giving up and he beamed alongside me when I mastered a new skill. He only grimaced a little when I stalled for the 8th time in a row.
Rule # 1: If you're learning to drive standard for the first time, pick the most deserted, corn-fieldy-est, dirt road that you can find. Rule # 2: Try not to wear too much make-up--just in case you cry a little. Rule # 3: Get familiar with the 4 ways. Rule # 4: Have your waving hand ready for laughing farmers as they pass.
It's not that I'm a bad driver--I swear I'm better than most--but finding the perfect balance (the sweet spot as Roger calls it) between the clutch and the gas was incredibly frustrating. I kept trying to start the car from 3rd gear, which is apparently a major no-no. I think I'll be A-okay once I remember to always shift to 1st gear after breaking. Being a good driver is a confidence thing; there is no way I'd successfully drive a manual car in busy traffic tomorrow, but I'm 100% positive that I'll be great after a few more times behind the wheel. In the meantime, wish me luck on the car shopping!! Now excuse me while I wash my potty mouth out with soap... 😉