Out of all the material items I possess, I would have to call my first car my one true prized possession. Veronica, as I often refer to her is rusty black and has more than a few bruises. Pretty much a replica of the stereotypical teenager’s first car. Possessions like these often are seen as junk to the rest of the world, but in one person’s heart it remains an invaluable treasure. For myself, I was lucky enough to find that one hidden gem in a 1998 Ford Contour. In my eyes it will be forever priceless because it is not the exterior value of the car that matters, but the long road of experience it has carried me on. My car has taught me more than I expected in such a short time, but above all it has given me memories, a feeling of responsibility, and taught me that hard work pays off.
As with most material items, certain memories tend to latch onto the object and are able to transport one back to a better time and place just by looking at it. Even though it is only a year old (at least in my possession), it seems as if it already carries a lifetime of memories. It treated me well through a timeless summer, the final summer before college becomes a true reality. Car rides filled with music pulsing, friends laughing, and road trips taken will never be forgotten. It has seen its share of sandy beaches and bright blues skies, as well as torrential downpours and yet has never failed me once.
If I ever needed to get away from my sometimes chaotic and frustrating household, the car has allowed me to finally have some form of escape after eighteen long years. So this car has quite literally been with me through everything in this past year, and I will always remember it for the freedom it has granted me for the first time in my life. It even holds promises of even better memories in the future. I can almost guarantee things are going to get hectic at times and circumstances are going to change more than once, but through it all my car will remain the one constant. The tangible mass that is the car is enough to remind me of all I went through to finally get to this point in my life. This fact is what makes my car so special, because no price tag can be put on an unforgettable memory.
The newfound responsibility that this car has given me also is what makes it invaluable. Owning something monumental like a vehicle comes with a certain sense of pride and self-accomplishment, but that same feeling can be taken away in an instant if you do not act responsibly. The freedoms that come with a car unfortunately do not come without their restrictions. There are state laws, parking rules, and probably most important, the parental rules. If these limitations are not taken seriously, many young drivers will find that their feeling of independence is short lived, myself included. I have learned that a great deal of hard work and effort can all be a waste of time if you don’t remain responsible after you have reached your goal. One must become independent and own up to their actions, whether good or bad. This new characteristic of responsibility will carry on to all other aspects of my life and I can thank my experience as a car owner for that.
Finally, my car has taught me a valuable lesson of dedication that I will never forget. Never before had I worked so hard to get something that I wanted. Without help from my parents to pay for a car, I spent months and months of job hours busing tables to pay for something I could call my own. Two thousand five hundred dollars later, for the first time in my life I have something that is 100% mine. This feeling of pride and ownership is something I truly value, a feeling I would have never experienced without the vehicle. This over year-long process of saving money and doing hard, manual labor has taught me a lesson that has always seemed abstract up to this point in my life. The car is now tangible proof to me that hard work eventually does pay off and has its rewards if you stay dedicated. It is this lesson that will always stick with my car and with myself and is what makes it one of my prized possessions.
In all reality, I know I won’t have the same car for the rest of my life. Eventually I will move on to bigger and better things, as all people seem to do in this new world, and my car will become just another piece of junk on the side of the road. This doesn’t mean the memories and lessons the car has given me will become any less important. They will forever remain special in my mind and even though the car won’t be there to remind me of them, I will take these lessons with me wherever I go.