The Art of Letting Go: A Love Letter To My Car


Letting go of something you love may just be one of the hardest things we'll ever have to do in this life. Why can't everything good just last forever? Sometimes it's losing a person who you aren't ready to say goodbye to, or a town you're moving away from that you've always known as home, or perhaps it's even a job that you've fallen in love with and aren't quite ready to leave. But whatever it is, saying goodbye before we're ready is a part of life that I don't think anyone is ever really prepared for.

I have a few things in my life that have taken up the coveted top spot in my heart that I hope never leave me: my family, my dog, my thirst for creative outlets, and my gluten tolerance. I'm a passionate person through and through, and when I lose something close to me I typically mull over the loss far longer than a normal person should. Pair that major flaw with an overactive spring of creativity and a plate of freshly baked cookies, and here I am- writing a love letter to my car in my robe. Is this weird yet?

Though I am a little bit excited to be getting a new car, my heart aches to part with my baby, Perfect. So, as an ode to my old gal who's held me up (literally) through the craziest years of my life, this is what I'd say to her if she could hear me. As if I haven't been talking to her for years already, but that's besides the point...

Dear Perfect,

I wish I could say I remember the exact day we got you, and the first time my OPI Lincoln Park After Dark polished fingers clutched around your steering wheel, but the truth is- I don't. Turning 16 was all a blur, and though I was excited about the fact that mom and dad were giving you to me I was probably far more concerned about why my 16 year old boyfriend wasn't waiting by my locker after 4th period and if the halftime cheerleading pyramid was going to hit on Friday night. Ah, the high schooler's struggle...

Nevertheless- though our first meeting doesn't strike a memory in my mind, I have plenty of other memories of us that have me smiling at all of our good times. Like the time I gave you your name-- Perfect-- because what else would I name such a cute and compact little white Ford Focus of my dreams? Or perhaps the time that we drove around the Walmart parking lot with all my friends taking turns riding on your hood (on second thought... apologies for that one). We were two girls, ready to take on the world. And take on, we did.

PHOTOgraphic evidence of said walmart parking lot incident

PHOTOgraphic evidence of said walmart parking lot incident

You were with me throughout high school, and all of the dramatics that a teenage girl encounters like broken hearts, hilarious girls nights, and late night jam sessions. You came to college with me for all four wonderful years at Iowa, as we drove to and from class together everyday while we watched all the other suckers walk in the cold. You stuck with me through my first job post-college where I filled you to the brim with marketing supplies on a regular basis, stuffing your trunk with tables, koozies, and t-shirts galore. And here you are right now with me in this brand new city, being patient as ever while I navigate my way through Des Moines using GPS every step of the way. We've been through it all together, and no car will ever live up to your steadfast faithfulness.

But since this is goodbye, there are a few things I should apologize for... you know, while we're here.

I'm sorry about that time I sped into the Wharton Field House parking lot going 45MPH and you know... went full speed into a speed bump? Honestly, we didn't need that front right tire anyways.

Honestly, really sorry about this one.

Honestly, really sorry about this one.

Oh, and I'm sorry for my one-woman concerts on literally every long-distance road trip we ever went on... I know you probably don't love Demi Lovato as much as I do, but thank you for letting me blare every single Demi CD on repeat anyways. Your speakers were made to play the sounds of Sorry Not Sorry.

But here we are, parting forever with only a broken heart and a somewhat better understanding of the rules of the road since turning 16. I thank you for giving me 8 good years of getting to and from where ever I needed to go, and never breaking down on me despite my awful driving. I thank you for being a constant sense of comfort during the past major developmental chunk of my life that felt anything but stable. You were always there for me, and though your brakes would squeak from time to time at the end there, well- it was like music to my ears.

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Though it may be the hardest thing you'll ever have to do, sometimes in life we have to let go of the things we love even if we don't feel ready. Because the truth is, we'll never be ready to say goodbye to something we love-- even if we know it's the right thing to do. In relationships, sometimes we can grow complacent with the strong sentimental attachment we grow dependent on, and we're blinded by the things we're being held back from in the process, like personal growth and development, self-contentment, or... a future free of roadside assistance. Whether it's a romantic relationship, a friendship, or a bond with a 2007 Ford Focus-- saying goodbye to something you love doesn't mean your time together wasn't special, but instead shows your strength and resilience towards building the fabulous life for yourself that only you can go out and get.

So whatever it is we have to say goodbye to, let us smile at the good times we had and be proud of the woman we're one step closer to becoming. Thank you, Perfect, for being the best little car a girl could ask for. I'll never forget you, and all your tininess. Here's to actually having to learn how to parallel park now that I won't have your little self to maneuver in and out of the smallest of spaces, and cheers to being the best of friends. 

Love always & forever,