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I’m not usually a crier. My emotional state is usually spared during sad movies, weddings, and even the ASPCA commercials, so it takes quite a punch for me to break out the waterworks.
All that to say, yes. You read the title correctly. I know it sounds completely irrational to get emotional about an inanimate object, but I absolutely wept over trading in my car yesterday. However, this wasn’t just any car. This was my beautifully beat-up 2008 Honda Civic that I’ve had since I could legally drive. The paint job was wearing off. One of the shade visors had broken completely. The leather on one of the seats was peeling up. She was looking pretty rough.
Luckily, Hondas can last for forever, but all of the wear and tear signs pointed to my next step: it was time to invest in a new car. It didn’t take me too long to decide what I wanted since I’m a Honda gal through and through. So after a bit of research, test drives, a picky search for the perfect interior and exterior color, and a lovely talk with the sales representative, it was time to get a new Honda CR-V.
Yes. This is so stupid, and I’m fully aware of it… But I was crying on the way to the dealership knowing this would be the last time I’d ever get to drive my Civic. If you saw me, you would’ve thought someone had taken a baseball bat to my brand new Lamborghini and set it on fire in front of my eyes.
“Come on, Katie. Snap out of it! You’re getting a new car! This is a time to be happy,” I tried to console myself. Getting a new car is a huge blessing and something I was thrilled about. After all, I hated worrying that my old car would break down mid-evacuation of a California wildfire, or wouldn’t be able to get me home in case of an emergency. But my old car, in many ways, served as a time capsule of a very dynamic decade.
This was the car that served as transportation to Friday night football games and my nightly rehearsals for the Spring musical in high school. This was the car that took me from Nashville to Auburn my Freshman year of college, and every trip home in between that first year. This was the car I graduated and hung my cap tassel in (twice). This was the car that drove me over 2,000 miles across the country three years ago when I moved to Los Angeles. This was the car that witnessed my nerves and listened to my monologues before various auditions. This was the car that I bawled my eyes out in after a bad breakup. This was the car that took me on the best of vacations. This was the car that served as a safe space for deep conversations with whoever was in the passenger seat. This was the car that took me to explore Napa Valley, Disneyland, the Great Smoky Mountains, and the Grand Canyon… This car had a lot of life. Or rather, this car witnessed a huge part of my life. Years 16-26.
So, why the waterworks? Well. I don’t really know, other than my car didn’t really feel like “just a car.” It was a consistent piece of my life that I relied on throughout some major milestones. Sure. It’s just a car. But it was literally the “vehicle” (pun intended) that made me being physically present in these moments possible in the first place.
My emotions weren’t logical, but at the same time, I guess emotions rarely are. The handing over of my old keys was an incredibly tangible metaphor of how life changes affect us in this post-grad time of life: It’s entirely possible to be thrilled about a new chapter and still be sad about turning the page to leave the old one behind.
Yeah, I was sad. But now I’m getting excited. So cheers to new chapters, new cars, and new memories to fill them with. .