Last week I bought a NEW CAR! Well, new to me, but that's all that matters! I love it so much and as geeky as this sounds, I sometimes find myself walking to the kitchen window just to catch a peek of my first big purchase. For $xx,000-- I think it's a fair habit. I found it online and knew right from the moment I saw it was in my price range that I wanted it bad. So I started emailing back and forth with the dealership and was sure that because I wanted to look at it so badly, it would get sold from under me. Well, I got lucky and not only did the car hold out for yours truly, but I got it for the price I wanted. I had the greatest team of salespeople working with me, and it was from start to finish a really good experience.
Cars are a funny thing. I saw on a documentary once (I think it was the docu Objectified) that people seem to identify with cars because of their face-like front and rear ends. Which is why some cars seem cute and some cars seem bitchy and some cars seem snobby and some cars seem sporty and so forth. I don't know what my old car "seemed", but it was mine and I cared about it and I loved it. It was with me through thick and thin. It was with me when I veered into the other lane without looking my freshman year of college and the lady in the beat up Taurus screamed at me, then asked that we please not call the police. It was with me for 5 jobs. It was with me through a high school graduation and two college graduations. It was with me to the bitter end, when my friends started to jokingly make fun of me for having an old car. It was my loyal steed, and when I excitedly hopped into my new car last Tuesday evening, leaving my trusty companion behind in the parking lot, I happened to look into my rear-view mirror to see the ole gal sitting there-- abandoned. [Even writing this, I am feeling a little emotional... so silly!] It's funny the connections we have with things-- namely cars. I pride myself on not being a very sentimental person when it comes to things; I hang on to memories. But leaving the Silver Bullet, as I lovingly called her for 7 years, in that used car parking lot really tugged on my heart strings.
Another funny thing about cars is how much we (well, some of us, if guiltily) associate them with status or personality or whatever. The other day, I was running errands like a mad woman, and as I pulled up to a spotlight, the driver next to me casually glanced my way, causing me to take a quick, reflective third-person look at myself. The phrase, "So this is me" popped into my head. Why? I'm not sure, but it stimulated a cascade of reflections on who I was thinking I was. At that moment, this is what I thought (given recent experiences and my current surroundings):
I guess I'm a 25-year old nurse who drives a silver Altima and uses reusable grocery sacks when she remembers and worries about stuff like where used cars go to die and buys books but takes weeks to start reading them... and really loves her friends and family and people in general, and is living better than she ever thought she would at 25 years old.
Before the light turned to green, I made a mental note of that proclamation. I hope it doesn't sound like I think too highly of myself, but that's what I thought at that moment and for a second, I felt proud of myself. Sometimes you just gotta put it all down-- write it down, jot it on your mental notepad of thoughts, sing it, say it in the mirror. It's good to get a grasp of who you are, even if pieces and parts are silly and superficial (I drive a silver car?). Have a third-party perspective of yourself. It's like believing in a higher power; stepping outside of yourself to recognize that you are not the end-all be-all of existence. You are an ant on the anthill, but you are important.
So with this new reflection, I will be moving- driving- forward into all of the different phases of me, however unpredictable they may be. I will focus on acknowledging the moments and the details and the pieces and parts that are defining the experience I am having, and my role in those details since they must be culminating before my eyes for some purpose. Silly things (like the purchase of a new car) can be friendly reminders to live an intentional, awake life, so don't pass them up. Be awake and aware, and find time to enjoy superficiality if you are so inclined. Just don't forget, the definition of superficial is on the surface, so it stands to reason that there must be something else underneath...
Now this is a moment to be awake.
Unrelated, but my hair this morning. When I moved my eyebrows up and down, it wiggled and made me laugh out loud.