It's so easy! At least, that's how it felt this time around compared to how it felt when I was 17 (or what it's like to drive where I live now). No one drives more than 5 over the speed limit and there are so few cars on the road, which really helps.
Thursday night, when we finished eating our ice cream, it was still light out (even at 8:30pm, because they're at the edge of the time zone) and so Max suggested that I might like to drive. There were barely any cars on the road and I was completely familiar with the area, so sure. Even driving a rental car that was completely unfamiliar, it was fine. No anxiety, just comfortable, even able to hold a conversation with Max - which is very unusual for us!
After breakfast on Friday, I went out driving with Max again... driving is just so much easier in St. Joe! I was actually comfortable and not nervous at all. What a difference 12 years makes!
Saturday afternoon, I drove by the site of the original accident that put me off driving in the first place. Driving up the street with the alley and then past the alley, I was anxious (please don't happen again!) but it only lasted a minute and then I had driven past the spot and nothing happened! It was like a weight had lifted off my chest.
Saturday night, after dinner, on wet roads at dusk. The sun had gone down and I drove from the downtown back to the inn. A short drive but in conditions that I would never normally drive and it was totally fine.
Sunday morning after we checked out, I drove from the inn along Lakeshore Drive to a gas station in Stevensville. The car in front of my for most of the way was very slow, going under 5 under the speed limit (which was even driving me crazy, nevermind Max!). I had to do a little turn around to go to the station that Max wanted but even that was only a minor disturbance.
All in all, it was the best driving experience I've ever had. Coming home, the roads are looking a lot less friendly but I'm hoping that driving in St. Joe was a life changing experience that will help me the next time I get on the road. In the meantime, I will give myself a little pat on the back. You can too if you want. :)