In December 2008, I was a junior in college. I had gone home for Christmas and while I was home, I bought my most favorite item in my entire life: my car, Miss Daisy Mala Junior. We call her Junior, or Junes.
I love her.
I have loved her from the moment I met her.
She’s a 2005 Chevy Malibu. The windows don’t roll down, sometimes; other times they don’t roll up. The gas gauge hasn’t worked since 2009. I blew out a speaker listening to Macklemore. But, the AC is basically ice and she gets 32 miles to the gallon in the city and she just won’t die.
On July 3, I met a new car, who doesn’t have a name yet, and hasn’t told me their gender yet.
It’s thrilling to have something so new, that feels very similar to drive to my old car, but I also feel really sad to let the old one go. She’s actually still with me; I wanted to take my time getting her to the correct new owner.
So, I came to a conclusion about my sad little car. There’s a pretty wide range on what people are willing to spend on a comparable car – $300 – $1200 – since her mileage is surprisingly low for her age. But she’s ugly – the paint is peeling and an entire bottle of coke got spilled in the back seat; she’s been on too many beach trips and too many late nights in the country barefoot.
D and I spent a long time talking about the right choice for her. What we could “earn” from selling her isn’t significant – obviously we did not need that income to purchase the new car. So, we’ll be letting a mom make $25 payments on her; someone who otherwise could not afford to buy a reliable car outright; someone who needs a way to work, particularly in the snow since her tires are basically brand new; someone who needs something to get them from walking to a better car than Junior.
Even though I’m currently holed up in my house with a busted ankle, I found myself, this morning, thinking about how much I have to be grateful for. My ankle will heal. My coffee is hot. My home is full of fresh product from a garden (some of which got canned to be eaten in the winter!) My cats are in good health. In one month I marry the best person I know. The sun is shining.
And so, I’ll cut my losses on the car. It’s worth it if it means that I can help someone else get to a point where they have enough brain space to see what’s good. It’s so easy to tell people to “look on the bright side” or to look ahead to their future when they’re feeling down. It’s much harder to help ensure that people have room in their life to think those thoughts.
What’s that Emerson quote?
“To know even one life has breathed easier because you have lived – this is to have succeeded.”Ralph Waldo Emerson
That’s where I’m at today, folx. And that’s the space I want to be in from now on.