What My Car Taught Me About Life

Franny is her name. She appears as quite plain and slightly run down on the surface, but her pure vivacity fuels her to persevere day in and day out. I first met her when I turned sixteen, and I knew that it was the beginning of an unforgettable companionship the second I laid eyes on her. For two years, she has stuck by my side through it all, showing me undying support regardless of whether I was at my best or my worst. As I plop down into her driver’s seat everyday, I shift the gear into to drive and begin a new journey with my beloved Franny. My rock. My Toyota Corolla.

As a car, Franny’s obvious purpose is to efficiently transport me from Point A to Point B. But when I sit back and ponder over our time together, I don't really think of the places we have gone. Sure, I've driven myself to school a countless amount of times, but I have never reminisced the mornings of frantically parking her and rushing to my first period class. I stop at the gas station now and then, but there has yet to be a day in which I’ve reflected on the moments Franny and I have spent at the pump.

It is not the destinations, but rather the memories made and the lessons learned while going to and from, that stand out in my mind.

It's humbling to remember both the blissful days of coasting with my windows down without a care in the world and the nights of struggling to see the roads due to the tears that filled my eyes. These juxtaposing sensations that I've felt with Franny's company have helped me piece together my understanding of life having its highs along with its lows.

There was the time when I ruthlessly punched her steering wheel out of pure frustration due to a ~very~ heated argument with my now ex-boyfriend. It left me with the lesson that I should never let people get the best of me, as I never want to experience that throbbing sensation in my knuckles or anger in my soul ever again.

Every time I happen to look down at my seat, I catch a glimpse of a massive coffee stain—a result of my best friend’s storytelling making me uncontrollably laugh to the point where I spit my iced latte everywhere. Although I tirelessly tried to scrub it clean, that gross looking mark now serves as a constant reminder to appreciate the people that bring me the most joy in life—no matter how messy it may get.

The realizations and lessons, cries and laughs, scratches and stains, and everything in between that I’ve experienced in the seats while driving my dear Franny truly mean more to me than any of the places we actually go. It is because of times and stories like these that Franny is more than a car with a mission to take me from place to place. She is a time capsule of my most pivotal points that have taught me to learn from and appreciate life’s journey as a whole—not just the journey’s end. Especially in a time as hectic and overwhelming as college, don't forget stop and appreciate where you are instead of being so dialed in on where you want to be.

Franny sparked the realization that I have become who I am not because where I have gone, but rather because of everything I have allowed myself to learn from along the way. My beloved Franny. My rock. My Toyota Corolla. I thank her for our journeys, not the destinations.