I've grown up in that car. It was the car I piled high with mine and Manolo's stuff the summer after high school when we were coming to college full of fear and excitement. Up until a few weeks ago, it's been the car I use for my 30 minute commute each morning to the job I go to where I'm the boss. In the console, I have about 50 mix CDs - when was the last time you held a CD, let alone made a playlist and burned one onto a CD yourself? In faded sharpie, one of the CDs is titled "If you want to remember what it felt like" with songs that were popular when I was falling in love for the first time (at least what I thought was love).
In that car, I've had serious moments. The moments where you're sitting at some early AM with someone, pouring your heart out because both of you didn't realize until you got to your destination that you didn't want the night to end. Moments of unfiltered truths, tears, arguments, and all the things in between. I can pinpoint the moment I realized I was falling for many of someones in that car, and I can pinpoint the moment when I realized my heart was breaking while sitting in a Walgreen parking lot in that car. I've picked up a friend at 3am from a strip club in that car because they were very drunk, emotionally searching for something they couldn't admit, and had already puked in their own car. I've picked someone up at 6am from a cop car in that car to help them not go to jail. But I did NOT get my four tickets in that car ironically. These are just a few of the snapshots of it's life in the past 7 years. Ollie was his name, and he always treated me well.
I don't resent the way I was brought up, I embrace it. But in that same regard, it's important to know that the moment I left for college I never had an intention of returning. Without realizing, I was on my way to building a whole brand new life with people who had no idea of who I was or where I came from and I loved that. Or at least I thought I did for a very long time. But I think with age, I came to miss having anyone around me who knew the old me - the lesser me. How can you celebrate your progress when so few knew where you started besides from stories you laugh about over drinks at the ludicrous things you dealt with as a teenager? Slowly, not only was I ridding myself of the material things I had left home with but unintentionally and regretfully I was ridding myself of so many of those people who were there rather than just had heard the story. Thinking about my car, it felt like one of the real pieces left of that identity and I didn't want to let it go. He was bruised, dented, old but mostly reliable. He treated me well. Until the deer.
Driving home one night, during one of the most stressful weeks of work I've had this year, a stupid freaking deer jumped in front of my car and decided it wanted to be the thing that would start my inevitable mental breakdown. I had known that I would be buying a new car soon enough but still, I wanted to make that decision on my own. So long story short, I went to a dealership and gave my car to them full of clutter from the past seven years and they gave me $200 for it. And then they gave me a new car. In all the midst of happiness over such a fun, shiny, toy I felt like I needed to divulge what that car meant to be in the best way I knew how - writing.
Getting rid of that car doesn't mean what I used to think it meant - that I was literally forgetting where I came from. If anything, it was character development on my ever growing story and this new car will find a chapter to fulfill as well.