In early December I totaled my car. While driving home from babysitting on a below-freezing night, my car smashed into the side of the road and ended up bouncing back out of a ditch. Crazy times. The appraiser said that the car absorbed the impact (and the design of the car potentially saved my life) but indeed, it was totaled. I shook it off, flew off on a whirlwind Christmas trip to Europe to see my parents, then hit the ground running upon my return to Tennessee.
This may sound stupid, but I did not get a chance to give my old car a proper farewell. I loved Athena. She and I shared a good many miles together (well over 65,000 miles in about four years). We laughed. We cried. We zipped around. Some of my best of times and worst of times in the last four years I experienced with Athena. After I got back, my insurance towed the beautiful, very broken car away while I was at work, and I never officially said my "goodbye."
Me and Athena, taking in the Florida sun
My drive home from tonight's babysitting gig (after a regular 8-hour work day... I'm plumb wore out) provided me a moment (well, 20 minutes-worth of driving time) to ponder my "grief." I don't necessarily mourn my car (although I miss the seat heaters). I think I struggle with this life change. I face several changes this year and plenty of uncertainty. I will graduate. I will get a new job and most likely move. I will travel to Arizona, Louisiana, and England within the first 5 months of the year. And while my new car is a smooth (and safe) ride, my old car was a comfort, something consistent, something stable.
Louisa May Alcott reportedly said "I am not afraid of storms, for I am learning how to sail my ship." I am learning, too. I can't quite make out the horizon to see if there are clouds, but I know they are inevitable. I just have to learn to ride the waves as they hit.