It’s funny how time changes our perspective. When I was in high school my parents bought me a used Nissan Sentra. It had 73,000 miles on it and their goal was for me to not be on the side of the road with car troubles.
At first, it was awesome! It wasn’t the shiny new cars like some of the other kids had, but the fact that I had a car was pretty amazing. Then throughout college it got a little banged up. The bumper had to be replaced, the paint on the hood started wearing away, it got some dents, and once I ran over a curb that dented the bottom of the door so bad it wouldn’t open!
I remember the day it hit 100,000 miles. I was passing McDonald’s in Sylva, NC and stopped to get a celebratory ice cream on my way to class.
Then we moved to Atlanta. I’ll never forget the day about a week into my new job when I had field training, which meant one of my coworkers riding in my car. I wanted to quit because I was so embarrassed! I spent the next several years being mortified of my car. I’d park way down the street at someone’s house, or at the end of the parking lot at a restaurant– I never wanted anyone to see my car.
Soon after we moved to Atlanta, our second car got totaled. We were a one car family. And that car was ugly and old and had 200,000 miles on it. We moved to South Carolina, and then to Virginia. Quickly, our car broke down. Our only car. In a place where we only knew Josh’s co-workers. Thankfully, his co-workers were amazing. We borrowed one of their cars for a few weeks, and got us set up with a mechanic who we became very close friends with.
And then we got another car. A second car. It’s not super nice, but has four wheels, goes forward & backward, and we were able to pay in cash. We were also debt free, and for the first time, had a little money saved up.
From that point on, I began loving my little Nissan Sentra. Maybe it was the nostalgia, knowing that it’s bound to be in its final days, but I think it’s because it was finally a choice. We no longer had to have the car. We chose to have the car.
When that puppy hit 300,000 miles I celebrated. I mean, how many people can say they have a car with 300,000 miles on it? Not many! We can’t really drive over 45mph without it smoking, and it has some fatal wounds at this point, but it’s our choice to drive it. I am so proud of that little car and all it represents. I never thought it would see my college graduation, yet here it is with my two year old in the backseat.
It reminds me that I can push forward and far exceed my own expectations. Sometime I think we all need that little reminder!