I Sold My Car

I sold my car.

It wasn’t until I was cleaning it out that I realized how big a deal it was to me.

I know I shouldn’t be upset. It’s silly. It’s an inanimate object. I have had many before this one, and will have many more after. The number one rule with cars is not to be emotional about them, as they are just tools. The problem is I’m emotional about the history, or what it meant to me and for me.

I’ve had this car for 8 years. Eight years—that’s a quarter of my life. During the time I’ve owned it I’ve lived in 3 states and 5 apartments, and at one point put everything I owned in it to start a new life on the opposite side of the country. It was with me on my very first BASE jumps and how I got to hundreds more after that. It survived 8 bridge days, 4 Panama City boogies, dozens of Rubidoux trips, and of course Burning Man. I’ve slept in it countless times and had amazing adventures in it. This past year and a half I’ve spent more time in that car than I have my own bed. Friends have traveled with me in it who are no longer here.

I’ve been traveling quite a lot for a number of years now and haven’t felt like I’ve had a “home” in a long time. My living situation felt, and still feels, more like a place to come back to for laundry and regrouping before heading back out again. I only realized today how my car helped me deal with that. It was comfortable, familiar, and reliable—feelings that only increased after it was paid off. It was my cutaway handle, my escape plan, and my getaway. No matter what happened in life, I could always load it up with whatever I wanted and hit the road.

I’ve been second-guessing myself through the entire process. Do I sell it, or fix it knowing I’ll never get that money back out and have to put even more in? Faced with the facts, though, selling it was the most logical decision. It’s only a matter of time before I had to get rid of it, so doing it now when I can get several thousand dollars for it instead of spending more than that to fix it for a bit longer makes sense. That makes it a little easier to swallow. That… and the fact that the nail in the coffin for my car occurred while off-roading at 2 AM blasting and singing Toto’s “Africa” entirely too loud. Just kidding…

…there’s no such thing as singing “Africa” too loud.

The only thing to do now is move forward. It was just a car, and I’ll get another one. The good news is I can look forward to all the new memories and adventures I’ll have in the next one. Here’s to finding a new mechanical agent of adventure delivery. Something to get me to and from the dropzone. Something to load up with parachutes, wingsuits, surfboards, and all kinds of other toys. Something I can sleep in and hang my hammock from. Something I can load up with my rad friends while we make bad decisions together. Most importantly of all… something I can blast Toto from while off-roading at 2 AM.

 -J

“In Memoriam (Ode to Joe’s Car)”
By Mara Schmid
All that begins must one day end.
You were a true and faithful friend.
Thanks, gods of rubber and of steel,
For putting me behind your wheel.
For every mile that we have shared,
For being safety while I dared
The great wild world, my stable base
So I could leap from any place.
For shelter from the dust and rain,
For all you saw of joy and pain.
For all the gas you liked to eat,
For each friend’s ass that sat your seat.
For this and so much more I say
Thank you for joining on my way.
Be well, go well, live long and mend:
You were a true and faithful friend.
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