BRENT STOLLER

Writer. Advice giver. Peanut butter and chocolate enthusiast.

30 Days of Joy: Thanks for the Ride

Brent Stoller with his old Toyota Rav4 SUV

Note: This article is the next step in my challenge to find joy in something — anything — every day for 30 days. Today’s entry is part 22.

A man and his car.

It’s a relationship as symbiotic as peanut butter and chocolate.

One of the classic images of Americana is a guy in his driveway, a beer in one hand, a wrench in the other, working under the hood on a Saturday afternoon.

Of course, I myself have never embodied that image, because I’m among the least handy people on the planet. I can barely check my tire pressure, much less change an actual tire.

But that hasn’t stopped me from having a meaningful relationship with each of my cars.

And sadly, one of those relationships just came to an end.

After many miles and memories together, I sold my car today.

Over the last year-plus, I’ve had to sink a lot of money into it for the inevitable upkeep that comes with a vehicle its age.

Once my wife and I paid off the last repair, we agreed that the next time something broke, it would be time to part ways.

Well, a few weeks ago, something broke.

It’s never easy saying goodbye, especially to something that’s treated you so well.

This car has been nothing but good to me, and I’ve driven it through one of the most impactful periods of my life.

I drove it while taking my biggest risk — quitting my job and fleeing cross-country to caddie at Bandon Dunes in Oregon.

I drove it while accomplishing my most important task — (finally) growing up and marrying my now-wife.

And I drove it while starting the next phase of our life together — moving from Washington, DC, to my hometown of Houston, where we now call home.

Through it all, this car was one of my only constants, the rock I could count on to get me where I needed to go.

Most importantly, though, it embodied everything a car has always meant to me:

Freedom.

And for that, I’ll always be grateful.

So fare thee well, friend. You will be missed but not forgotten.

Thanks for the ride.

*****

This originally appeared on 100 Naked Words.

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