My Beloved First Car,

I grew up riding in your backseat when you belonged to my mom. Then you became my older sister’s car. You were a staple in my family’s driveway. You may not have been the best car in the world, but the day you became mine was easily one of the best in my life. Once my sister bought a new car, you sat in the driveway waiting for me to get my license. When the driving school would drop me off after driving hours and the instructor would ask “Is one of those yours?”, I would point to you. My driving test rolled around and I failed. I hated seeing you every morning as I walked to my father’s car to be driven to school because you were what I could not have and what I did not achieve. Two weeks passed and I passed my driver's test. That weekend, I drove you for the first time by myself to my Junior Powderpuff game. I will always remember how scared I was, but also how amazing it felt to pull up to my high school with you. That was just the beginning.

From that moment on, I drove you to and from school every single day. I remember pulling into the parking lot the first morning I drove you to school. I had no idea where to park and ended up parking the pull-through spot farthest away from the school and closest to the road leading out of the school. This seemed like a good idea, until I faced the traffic leaving the parking lot on the way out. Nobody would let me out and I tried from all angles. Every day after that I parked in the upper lot in the pull-through closest to the school. It got easier every subsequent day. We had good times in that parking lot: skidding on the ice because the school rarely sanded the parking lot after snow, then there was that time some girl a year older than me rear ended you. Thank God you were fine. You were so close to being rear ended a million times in that dreaded parking lot. I drove you to school my entire junior year. You allowed me to drive my younger friends home from rehearsals, as well as go out for ice cream to destress after a long hell week (theater kids will understand).

I loved having a car that summer. It was amazing to be able to go to the beach whenever I wanted and I was able to pick up friends to go out whenever. It was common to find me and my friends at the beach watching the sunset with an ice cream cone in hand. You brought me everywhere. During this time, I did not appreciate you. I complained about you all the time and a common phrase of mine became, "I hate this car!” The lack of air conditioning killed me because my hair is incredibly curly, causing it to frizz easily. Even with your flaws, you always brought me where I needed to be and you were reliable. Most of my childhood included you bringing my friends, family, and I around.

Now I sit here writing this, almost a year after I replaced you with a new car. I love this car. It is reliable and has four-wheel drive. It is perfect for the weather of Cape Cod. I have been through some amazing things since I last saw you. I was accepted to all of my colleges and this new car took me to numerous open houses, accepted students days, and finally college orientation. This car is bringing me into the next step of my life. Even with all of the amazing aspects of my life now, you represent an another amazing part of my life. You were there when I was eight years old. Back then you were my mom’s. You drove us to numerous doctors appointments and to my first junior high dance. Remember that time your air conditioning decided to begin smoking on the way to the Taylor Swift concert in the middle of a heat wave? At the time we were all nervous, angry, and sweaty. Now, it is one of my favorite stories to laugh at.

You dropped me off at my first day of high school, and then you were the first car that I got to call my own. A teenager’s first car is the most important car they will ever own. It represents a big step into the independence that they will continue to develop. Chances are a teenager’s first car is not the best; however, it does not matter. A person will always remember their first ride in a car that they can call their own. Getting a car represents a step into adulthood. You can now bring yourself to appointments and you can go out with your friends without having to rely on a parent for a ride. At this moment, you can go wherever you can imagine and you have gained a sense of autonomy and self-reliance. You are the driving force into adulthood (pun obviously intended).

Thanks for the memories (the good and the bad).