Nicola Sturgeon, the former First Minister, proudly announced a personal triumph when she disclosed to the world that she successfully passed her driving test on the very first attempt, at the age of 53. Initially disclosing the news on her Instagram profile, she emphasized that it’s never too late to embrace new opportunities or to learn new skills.
As a leader dedicated to politics from a young age, Ms. Sturgeon never found the time to follow the typical rite of passage of learning to drive when she was younger. Back in March of this year, she declared her intention to take driving lessons, shortly after stepping down from her leadership role in the Scottish National Party (SNP).
As an expression of her gratitude for her successful navigation through this new territory, she paid tribute to Andy MacFarlane, her driving instructor from Caledonian Learner Driver Training, for being not just an exceptional teacher but also a trustworthy and comforting presence.
Speaking on a BBC interview, the MSP for Glasgow Southside expressed that her newfound ability to drive is a symbol of freedom. Learning to drive represented an opportunity for her to break the constraints that had, in some ways, been imposed by her position as the SNP leader.
After challenging times, including an investigation into the SNP finances that entailed her arrest and subsequent release without any charges, Ms. Sturgeon has demonstrated that she is on a path of personal and professional redemption. She marked her return to the Scottish Parliament in June, and since then, she has been penning a memoir about her significant achievements and any regrets from her long years in political terrain.
Beyond this personal achievement, Ms Sturgeon continues to participate actively in political life. In a recent speech delivered at Holyrood, she demonstrated her ongoing commitment to political issues by giving full support to her successor Humza Yousaf’s plans to alleviate child poverty. She also stands firmly in support of the SNP’s new strategy for independence.
Through these events, Nicola Sturgeon has shown that learning to drive, much like learning anything new in life, does not just grant her physical freedom, but is also a potent symbol of personal growth and resilience after her public life.