I get emotionally attached to "things". You know, like I still won't throw away the jeans I was wearing the night I first met my husband, I saved the refillable beer mug I used to bring to "Mug Nights" at the local bar in college, and I'm sure I will eventually have to rent a storage space for all of the "things" that will be special to me from Aubrey's childhood. Today's blog isn't about the baby, per say, but it's about one of those things that I HAD to say goodbye to that symbolized who I was before Aubrey came into my life.
Yesterday, my husband totaled my car. He is fine, THANK GOD, and that really is all that matters. He kept thinking I would be mad about my car being totaled, but it really didn't make me angry. However, I couldn't fight this nagging feeling deep in my gut that felt, well, sad. I kept asking myself, why am I feeling this way? Why do I feel like I want to cry about never being able to drive Macy (I like to name my cars, bear with me...) again?
Then it hit me. My small, sporty, silver Mazda 3 symbolized my life before a baby. It was the first new car I ever bought for myself. It was the car of my 20s...it saw so many fun memories and some not so fun. It got me to countless jobs that I didn't want to go to. It drove me to dozens of wedding vendors when planning my wedding. It was the car that my husband and I took on our long road trips together and for late nights in Atlantic City. It took me to endless OBGYN appointments when I was pregnant with Aubrey, wondering if this would be the visit they'd tell me it's almost time.
One particular memory really stands out to me, and it really drives home my point of how saying goodbye to my car feels like I'm raising the white flag and surrendering my "old self" to life as a mommy. It was about two weeks before my due date. I'm sure we can all remember how uncomfortable it is in that final month of pregnancy. Even though I wasn't even at my due date yet, I was fed up with being pregnant and had major cabin fever. At nine months along, there weren't many places I could tolerate since standing on my feet and moving around had become a major pain. Literally. This particular night I remember was a weeknight around 7pm. I saw some Blockbuster movies that were overdue. I grabbed the movies and said to my husband, "I've got to get out of here. I'm gonna take a drive and return these movies."
I hopped in my car (okay, maybe not "hopped", probably more like fell into my car since I was huge at this point) and rolled down the windows. It was a gorgeous fall night and I remember feeling so happy to be out of the house and driving. I found a cd that a friend had made for me back in college. I popped it in and suddenly it was the year 2000 again and I was a sophomore in college. Memories flooded back of my roommate and I doing Denise Austin aerobics in our tiny 12x12 dorm room to Mariah Carey's "Heartbreaker". I thought of how we would down a whole bottle of champagne before heading out for a night at the bar that usually wouldn't even commence until 11pm (now I'm lucky if I can even stay awake til 10...). I felt like I was back in the quad, wearing my insanely high platform flip flops with my Britney-esque belly shirt, trying to catch the eye of whoever my crush was for that week. I kept driving my car, prolonging this trip down memory lane, with the windows down and the CD blasting. I felt so free.
That night was the first time it really hit me that in about two weeks, my life was going to change drastically. Prior to that, I intellectually knew that a baby changed everything, but it never real "hit" me. I teared up thinking about how those carefree days were long gone.
So after the initial shock of the car accident wore off yesterday, and I was left with a feeling of loss, I soon realized why I felt so sad. It wasn't about the car. It was about losing one of the last pieces I had left of my life before the baby. The car that represented so many fun times in my 20s, would now be replaced with a more spacey, practical family SUV.
Life comes in phases. At the end of each phase, we always feel a sense of sadness. However, the beautiful thing about life is that with each new phase, comes more dreams come true, more wisdom, and more love. We always think that "life can't get any better than this" and then it surprises us.
While it's sad to see my car go (and most of my 20s along with it!), I know that the next car I get will one day represent all of the memories of Aubrey's childhood and our life as a family. And when the time comes to replace that car, I will have this same sense of sadness from having to say goodbye to those happy times.
I'd like to share a quote that I read in college (when I was the quote QUEEN) that applies quite nicely to today's blog...
"Beginnings are usually scary, endings are usually sad, but it's the middle that matters the most. That's what you must remember the next time you find yourself at a beginning."
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