When you think of a vehicle, most people consider it a piece of machinery and a simple mode of transportation. It was designed to get a person from point A to point B and then back to point A. Even with it being an inanimate object, how close are you with your car? Has your vehicle ever protected you? What about ever saving your life? Mine has and I couldn’t be any more thankful. Growing up, I’ve always had a love for cars and trucks, learning how they work and fixing them. I never thought though that one day; it would help me overcome my biggest obstacle. Buckle up kiddies, it's story time.
Back in late 2013, I was working as a law enforcement officer in a northern New Jersey county. I was accused of a very serious crime I did not commit. An injustice was placed upon me and it literally broke me down both physically and mentally. Due to the time in society, I was told that because I was a white officer and the “victim” was not, I had to have abused my powers. “Isn’t that what cops do?” I lost my job, pension, benefits, respect and most importantly, identity. I gained weight, lost important social skills and hit the bottle. I went down a path that seemed like there was no turning back.
At the time, I was driving a Jeep Grand Cherokee WK. I had completed some basic work to the engine and suspension but nothing major. When I finally realized that I needed to make a change in my life, that’s when it hit me. Every time I found myself stressed or upset about something, I’d go cruise somewhere. It didn’t matter where it was as long as I jumped in the driver seat and went. I figured that I would know where I was going when I got there. I finally found my outlet. A way to decompress over the issues I was dealing with. Sadly, my vehicle didn’t make it. While parked one night at the train station, a wire faulted in my headlight and caused the engine bay to catch fire. My Jeep was a total loss.
Eventually, I settled on a new vehicle with the insurance money. I wound up buying a 2013 Ford Fusion Titanium with a 2.0L Ecoboost turbo engine (because race car). Through this new car, I realized to myself that it symbolized me moving on from my past and becoming someone new. My car gives me a chance to start over with a clean slate and to decide where I wanted to take myself. I have laid out a key plan I intend to follow. Every time I feel stressed, I will find something to do on the vehicle, whether it be as minor as changing the oil or as major as checking the shocks to coil overs. When I’m done with my little project, I will cruise down the open road and feel comfort in knowing that I can drive past these tough times. To you, it is a vehicle and a mode of transportation but to me, it is so much more.