Earlier this year, I lost my beloved Mitsy to old age and a fuming engine on I-81S. I cried over her (wept, really), I memorialized her, and I spent the next two months of my life walking around Asheville until my sister’s old car became my new car — Des.
She’s a 1998 Toyota Corolla, and her full name is Desdemona — a name I wasn’t wild about. Rather than christen her with a new name and inflict her with identity issues (been there), I simply shortened her name to Des.
Des has been a good car. She’s gotten me from Point A to Point B. A couple trips home to Georgia, some trips into the mountains, and regular routes around Asheville to work and coffee shops galore.
Other than one flat tire, Des has treated me well this year.
The other day, it came time to get Des inspected so that I could renew her tags for another year. I hadn’t gotten a car inspected since Mitsy three years ago, and I’d assumed all would be well with Des.
All was not well with Des. Turns out her steering pump was leaking “very badly” (good grammar), and it’d be over $400 to repair. Add to that fix my inspection fee, taxes, and tag renewal, and I was looking at a $600 plunge — a plunge I’m still unsure I want to take.
It’s been an up-and-down year financially. My phone died. My laptop died. Mitsy died. I spent the summer and fall working a full-time job and climbing out of debt. In the last couple months, I’ve started saving toward a new car. No offense to Des, but she doesn’t exactly rev my engine when I turn the key each morning.
I’ve envisioned a newer vehicle with more room, more possibilities for wandering and camping, a car that isn’t “just a car” like Des is just a car.
I want a car that’s a friend who sticks closer than a brother (or a sister) like Mitsy was.
Ideally, I would renew Des for another year and sometime between now and the next inspection, this new vehicle/friend would materialize. And we’d live happily ever after.
Alas. I’d have to pour several hundred bucks into Des to get to that point, delaying myself months in the process.
I do live in a bikeable city. And I do have a bike. (Mitsy is her name.)
Wouldn’t it be something if I just went car-less again for a few months and biked to work and coffee shops and saved up in the meantime? Or what if I took out a loan and took advantage of these end-of-year deals and got a new car now?
I’ve been debating these possibilities this week, struggling for clarity as I ponder much more than a vehicle to occupy for (ideally) the next decade of my life.
I think about whether I will still be living in Asheville a year from now.
I think about whether the road will draw me back.
I’ve come to the daunting realization that at 29 I have no idea where my life is going. Not 50 years from now, and not even one.
But at the end of the day, I am okay. I am so okay. I will figure this out. I will figure all of this out.
And you’re okay, too. You will figure all of this out.
When all else fails — hug the new bernedoodle puppy at work.
This is Day 16 of #MakeNovemberTolerable. Keep checking back every day this month for new stories and discoveries of beauty where beauty may be hard to find.