For someone who claims to hate driving and anything related to motor vehicles, I sure do write on this topic a lot. I’m overly nostalgic and sentimental at 1 am, so hopefully, that explains the dramatics of a piece that was originally written on my phone as slam poetry but has now morphed into… I’m actually not really sure what this is, exactly…
At sixteen, I had no idea what kind of a ride I was in for. But it didn’t matter. That black 1998 Ford Explorer hand-me-down sure did look a lot like freedom.
Two years and eight months after our first solo journey to the grocery store, I can honestly say that the two of us have been on some crazy adventures.
I owe my life to that car. That car kept me alive my first time driving in Denver rush hour traffic during a snowstorm, even when the windshield cracked and the sound scared the heck out of me. It kept me alive when I drove it into the rear end of a mini-van, even when the airbags didn’t deploy (when I’m pretty sure they should have). Somehow, even with all the blind spots and my terrible driving skills, I am still alive.
Probably no one will ever know me as well as that car did. That car has heard me sing off-key at the top of my lungs to every cliche pop song playing on the radio. It has heard me scream with pure joy when I got offered a job as an audio engineer. It has heard my hurt cries when life and stress seemed too much to bear. It has heard every dream, every thought, every idea that I have poured out to God on my commute to school.
That car has seen me in states that most humans never will. It has seen me on my good days and my bad days, when I’m wearing sweatpants with no makeup, and when I look like a queen. It has seen me dance as if no one was watching, even though a white, luxury Audi was sitting at the stop light beside me. That car has seen me lose patience with friends screaming in the back seat, but also when I’ve laughed so hard until I cry with the exact same friends.
That car has been by my side through every adventure; whether it be trips down to youth retreats or commutes to school. It’s been patient when I have gotten lost, and forgiving when I’m in a hurry to get somewhere I know well. It has been there to help friends move, to drive in circles for the fun of it, and for much-needed coffee runs.
That car has been there for every moment of my confusing, yet actually non-existent love life. It was in the front seat of that car, that I learned to be straightforward and honest about feelings. It was in the front seat of that car that I made a decision to officially start dating someone. And it was in the front seat of that car a month later I made the choice to end an unhealthy relationship before more people got hurt.
That car has seen me grow from an angry sixteen-year-old child to a young woman still learning to be unapologetically joyful. Two years and eight months later, it is with great excitement that I get to pass the keys to that beautiful, old beater to my brother.
As that car once again gets to observe a teenager grow into an adult, I get to start a new adventure with a new car. No matter how many dance parties and slam sessions I have in The Strawberry Wombat, they will always be second best to the ones I had in my first car.