What I’ve learned about totaling my car. the Philosophy on life after loss

“What’s done cannot be undone.”
― William Shakespeare, Macbeth

(please note, Macbeth is probably my favorite non pop culture read out there)

I’ll preface this with the fact that it was not my fault that I totaled my car…but then again I say very few things are my fault. I sort of shrug stuff off and point my finger at everybody else. You’re to blame that I crashed, you stupid guard rail. You’re the fact that I crashed stupid song stuck in my head. You’re the reason I crashed Zips, all buckled in in the back seat, almost as if he was anticipating death. Verily we might have died on that stretch of road going up through Mountain Rest, but we didn’t. My dad, Zips and I return home, without major injuries, but with one really fucked up car. We were lucky enough to be able to limp it back to Anderson to more closely examine the damage.

I’ll pat myself on the back when I say that I didn’t break down in an emotional fit….well…not until nobody else was around. That car was my everything, that car was my buddy, that car was my only slice of privacy in this world and it’s wrecked, totaled, no more. Vaya con dios. I didn’t know it at the time, but I was about ready to learn a very important lesson in life, one that I hadn’t ever learned before. I can be independent.

Forever and ever I have always felt that I needed a crutch to prop myself up on, somebody to catch me when I fall and to bail my ass out when I’m in trouble. After our separation, my crutch is no longer there, so I’ve been propping myself up on sticks that wouldn’t hold me. I constantly stumbled over stupid things and tried my hardest to realize that I have the strength to actually make my own decisions. I don’t have to approve my life actions because, what I do, I do because I *think* it’s a good idea.

That’s exactly where this loss business comes in. I wrecked the car, I wrecked my last relationship, I wrecked another car, I wrecked myself several times, I wrecked my bank account, I mean, I’m a human wrecking ball….but only because I’m not taking control of the gears.

“Confusion now hath made his masterpiece.”
― William Shakespeare, Macbeth

But how, with all of my philosophical learning, with all my common sense, with all of the life experiences I had, why was this so difficult. Why could I not just take the reins and ride that wild horse wherever I wanted to go? What was holding me back? In a word, confusion. I was confused at how to live a life that nurtured me, that catered to me, that allowed me to open up and actually share my feelings with people. I was confused how to begin, almost like being brought back from death and looking at the ceiling of the hospital room and wondering “I wonder why that light fixture is there.” I now wander around confused about what I’ve done with my life, where I’m going in life, and what the hell just happened the past ten years of my life.

South Carolina happened, that’s whats been going on for the past ten years of my life. And as much as I love it here, it hurts me too. Something about it hurts, and I think it’s my heart. My tenure here has been full of bad decisions, a few good ones, and then one really bad one. It’s done though, and I cannot go back, the wheels must roll forward…and exactly that happened. I went out and bought a brand new car (which I never thought I’d be able to do in my entire life) and got what I wanted that was practical. I didn’t ask anyone for advice, I didn’t let anyone manipulate me into getting something that I didn’t want (cough, that fucking maxima), and I sure as hell didn’t care what other people thought of my new ride. I needed out of South Carolina, I needed fresh road and thinking time.

“Tis safer to be that which we destroy
Than by destruction dwell in doubtful joy.”
― William Shakespeare, Macbeth

Hitting the open road was my medicine, and although I feel awful that I left loved ones high and dry without really telling them where I was going, truth be told I didn’t know where I was going either. I was going somewhere. New places, new roads, a new lease on life. Perhaps in these rolling back hills of north Georgia and Tennessee I would find a sign, a purpose, some sort of epiphany as to why I belong on this earth. I drove, and then drove some more. Deep inside of me I had always wanted to see Rock City. So I went, of course being me I had no brains (no brains, no headache) and was wearing spike heels. For once in my life I said “fuck it, if they look at me funny, so be it, this is my dream, this is my life, this is what I want to do.” And I did, although it didn’t bode well, instead of wrecking the car that day, I wrecked my knee. A tumble would be a mild way to express my fall, but I didn’t care. I made a decisions, a risky one at that, and paid the consequences.

I was on a path of self destruction, I was hell bent, I wasn’t to do all the things that I’d always wanted to do and then just call it a day. Jump off the rock or something, but something inside me cried, “stop the madness.” I drove the stretch of road between Rock City and Chattanoga balling my eyes out. This trip was supposed to be my adventure, my spirit journey, my trip to heal the ripped open wounds of loosing the things that I love. Things that I will never have back. I sobbed, which didn’t really help anything, but I realized the only reason I lost the things that I loved the most was because I didn’t take time to really appreciate the love exuded. I was too busy in self destruct mode to see the reality, and I was also too consumed with making up what I thought other people thought of me.

“I cannot fly,But bear-like I must fight the course”

A motto that I’ve had ever since first reading that book in high school. The torment that Macbeth suffered was comparable to the hell that I was putting myself through every single fucking day. For what reason, however? What did I do to deserve such malicious and hateful self treatment. It didn’t make sense. I arrived in Chattttaannoooggaaaa, with all intentions on going to see the Choo Choo and other touristy places, but the only place I found myself was bellied up to a bar, a fantastic bar where they actually seemed to “get” me. Of course talking to random bartenders is a past time of mine, but in this circumstance I needed someone to talk to, someone that didn’t know me from Adam.

“I totaled my car”

“Oh shit, that sucks! It’s just a car though. Be thankful you weren’t hurt.”

“You don’t understand, that car was my baby.”

“I don’t think you understand that that car is JUST a car, it has no feelings, it can’t love you back. It might make you smile, but it doesn’t love you.”

“So what you’re saying is it’s a good thing I totaled my car and got a new one?”

“Yeah, I guess so. Don’t fall in love though, remember, it can’t love you back.”

“My plenteous joys,
Wanton in fulness, seek to hide themselves
In drops of sorrow.”
― William Shakespeare, Macbeth

I left, and got on the long road to Johnson City, Tennessee, a place that I have some bittersweet memories of being very sick. Those words were resonating in my head, “it can’t love you back.” All that time that I was so proud of my car, taking pictures of it, treating it like a member of the family, all of that shit….and it never loved me back, it was just a car. It wasn’t even possessed. It was just a car….but then it dawned on me, it wasn’t that I loved the car so much, it was the attention that the car got. It turned heads in a way that I was always jealous of. People were always complimenting me on my car, but I would rarely get compliments on me. I’d show it off, channeling that attention people were giving to the car into myself. It never loved me, but I loved it for the attention it got me.

Sick to my stomach at the realization, I pulling into a rest area and curled up in a ball in the back seat. The emotional roller coster of the day was too much for me to bear. Not thinking, I didn’t crack windows, I didn’t turn on the ac, and it was 92 degrees out. I fell sound asleep, I mean REALLY sound asleep. The lack of sleep from the night before plus hundreds of miles down and many more to go had me exhaused….mind you in the 92 degree heat…in the sun…with the windows up.

The only reason I woke up was a semi passed and used it’s air breaks and pretty much rattled my car to the bone. I woke up, sopping wet with sweat and feeling dizzy. I was scared, but I felt renewed. That was twice in a week I escaped death. My nerves were shot, my heart was healing, and I was on the road again, trying to pick up the mental pieces where I left off. I filled myself with music that made me sing, one song came on that made me cry like a baby…and actually right now, it makes me well up. It’s not really even my type of music but it fills my heart with sorrow for all the things that I’ve loved and lost.

I suppose these next 30 years are going to be full of the love and loss too, which makes it really hard to love something or someone, because you never actually know if they love you back. Like a car….it will not love you back.

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2 thoughts on “What I’ve learned about totaling my car. the Philosophy on life after loss

  1. Nikki,

    We follow this blog because we like and care about YOU, not your car. We would tell you that you are cute and hot, but we don’t want to appear shallow or creepy. You have enough to deal with already.

  2. Very sad, but happy that you (and family) are OK. You loved your 128i, but you still have the Shark. And you can probably find another 2008 128i….Cars are replaceable, people not so much…..

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