Bubbles & a smidge of personification

Those of you who know me in real life probably know how much I love my car. Aaaand those of you who don’t know me probably know how much I love my car (see “Bubbles the Bug” page). If you read the story on the aforementioned page or if I’ve told you in person, you also know why I love my car so much. She’s very special to me and I make sure she is properly groomed (clean on the inside), bathed (car wash) and has frequent checkups at the doctor’s office (mechanic). But, the truth is, she’s getting, well, old. 

Don’t tell her I told you that.

Sometimes I hear questionable noises when I don’t have her brand-new stereo system bumpin’ out the likes of Miley Cyrus or Iggy Azalea. Her rear hatch (uhh, underwear? I’m stumped) only opens with the physical key, not just the fob, and she has quite a few pimples on her face (spots where the paint is chipping away).

I watch my colleagues walk across the road to the parking lot just outside of my apartment and climb into Audis, BMWs and other respectable, new-looking cars. It pisses me off that sometimes I look at them with envy, wondering what it’s like to have a completely reliable car. Bubbles definitely does the job –– don’t get me wrong –– but the reason why I bought my plane ticket to Long Island this week instead of driving seven hours is so I don’t stress out or hurt my baby.

It’s when I see those fancy-ass cars (and when my ex drove me around in his car) that I mentally reference The Last Lecture by Randy Pausch, a novel I read my freshman year.

Chipping paint or not, Bubbles is still a car and she does her job very well. I’m so fortunate to even have a car. Plus, what 17-year-old receives her dream car the first time around? Probably not too many.

In the novel, Randy tells of the time when his wife, Jai, backed out of the garage right into the front of his Volkswagen convertible. She panics over the damage done to his car, but Randy remains calm.

“After dinner, we looked at the cars. I just shrugged, and I could see that for Jai, an entire day’s worth of anxiety was just melting away. ‘Tomorrow morning,’ she promised, ‘I’ll get estimates on the repairs.’

I told her that wasn’t necessary. The dents would be OK. My parents had raised me to recognize that automobiles are there to get you from point A to point B. They are utilitarian devices, not expressions of social status. And so I told Jai we didn’t need to do cosmetic repairs. We’d just live with the dents and gashes.

Jai was a bit shocked. ‘We’re really going to drive around in dented cars?’ she asked.

‘Well, you can’t have just some of me, Jai,’ I told her. ‘You appreciate the part of me that didn’t get angry because two “things” we own got hurt. But the flip side of that is my belief that you don’t repair things if they still do what they’re supposed to do. The cars still work. Let’s just drive ’em.'”

Sometimes I get self conscious about my cute little car and the noises she makes. Sometimes I wish I had the money to invest in a new outfit for her (paint job). But you know what? She does what she needs to do and she hasn’t let me down.

“Take care of it and it’ll take care of you,” the woman who sold me the car told me when I was 17.

Moral of the story: appreciate what you have. I think I do.

Bubbles is so, so special. She gets me from point A to point B and has since my senior year of high school. I would’ve hated for her to read the beginning of this post, but I think she’d be delighted by its ending.

I can’t wait for spring when I can finally treat her to a “spa day” as a reward for getting me through a rough winter.

Emily in a very packed Bubbles on the way back to Bonaventure from her summer internship.
Emily in a very packed Bubbles on the way back to Bonaventure from her summer internship.

Welcome home

Home doesn’t feel like home anymore.

Sure, the dogs greeted me and Weezie the cat made a few appearances, but it’s not my home.

My childhood bedroom with its lime green, sky blue, raspberry pink and orangey orange walls close me in after branching out too far.

I can’t relate to 13-year-old Emily anymore. She’s the one who picked those colors and the bedding. I’m still very colorful, but I shed experiences every time I walk through the doorway. I’m back to the beginning, making the glow-in-the-dark flowers on the ceiling into triangles of Mickey Mouse’s nose and ears. My drawers are full of abandoned poetry books, cellphones and hair accessories. My bedroom door took a beating during my “nobody understands me!”, braces-clad phase. Returning is a bit debilitating and a hit to my morale.

I’m so happy with where I am now.

It’s a new place I am making my own. I’m discovering the area’s quirks, little by little. Thirteen-year-old, metal-mouthed Emily used to gaze in wonder as her oldest brother, Jordan, showed the family around the Chautauqua Institution, an area unbeknownst to us. Now 19-year-old Emily is doing what Jordan did.

I run and check out the neighborhoods. I brought my bike back with me from home this past weekend and discovered a really neat park tonight where I plan to spend a lot of my summer. And you just can’t beat the main, bustling street full of family-owned shops and boutiques. I find something new every time I walk/run/bike down it.

I’m secure with being alone and doing things for me. Running for me. Biking for me. Finding new nooks and new swingsets to swing the evenings away on.

And then watching the sun set every night:


It’s time

Some things take precedence over others.

For example, take my history class from this past semester. If it’s a requirement, chances are I don’t want to take the class (especially if it doesn’t apply to either of my majors). So, instead of paying attention, I sat in class with my laptop open, updating my cover letter(s) and redesigning my résumé. I still managed an A-. Landing a good internship for the summer meant more to me than getting an A.

This post is much like the one from a month ago regarding the end of my sophomore year, and yet it’s totally different. This time I’m on the edge of my childhood. While I haven’t acted or been treated like a child since maybe 15(?), this truly is it. It’s over.

It’s a pretty safe bet I won’t ever really live in this house ever again. A suitcase will replace the closet I used to pull outfits from.

And I think I’m ready.

These past few homework-free weeks have been good for me. I’ve lazed around, slept in, read and cooked a meal or two. But these carefree days can’t last. My days of rolling out of bed at noon and sipping coffee on the porch have met their end.

It’s time to get busy. It’s time to build my career and make connections. It’s time to utilize the degree I’m in the midst of earning.

I’m ready.