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The Miles on My Car

by Liz Galante 4 years ago in travel

The Miles in My Life

I bought my first car when I was 20-years-old. It was a 2011 Mazda3i Sport with a pearl black finish. I purchased it for $12,000: my largest purchase yet. What I didn't know at the time was that it was going to be the vessel that would be with me as I reached many major milestones in my life.

When I had purchased the car, it had 64,000 miles on it. It was not until I reached 80,000 miles on the car that I started noticing the miles marking important turning points in my life.

When my car hit 80,000 miles, I was driving with my best friend since high school, as well as a new man in my life. This new man was someone I had met in the beginning of starting my new job. We hit it off nicely, equally matching each others' sarcasm, wit and far-fetched ideas. This man was older than me, but not by too much. We were driving down the highway and I told everyone to brace themselves. "We are about to enter a new age, when 79,999 turned to 80,000." I cheered in triumph. "I just hit 80,000 miles on my car with you guys!" This man taught me a little bit more about communication in both romantic relationships and non-romantic relationships. He taught me to be fearless, to be myself. He introduced me to new movies, new ideas, new books, new ways of thinking. All the flaws I had in communication destroyed my relationship with this man and I can only blame myself for it. I took this lesson and I moved on.

81,000 miles came quickly. It marked the time in which things had ended with the old man. I began a relationship with a new man; this is a blur to me now. Things definitely moved quickly. This new man was a "partial-sculpture" of the things I desired. The characteristics he had was an image of what I had in my head, but the final product was one that had been executed poorly. I was viewing him through rose-colored glasses, and that was my greatest downfall. We were doing what we loved most when I hit the 81,000 mile mark. We were on our way to an escape room downtown. Silence again took over my vessel, and my eyes were shooting between the road and the mileage. I saw the numbers change again and I declared the new milestone out loud and a small celebration ensued. This man taught me not to settle because of an idea in my head. He forced me to remove my rose-colored glasses and do what I think is best in my life, despite the fact that I may hurt another human. I cannot live my life in misery to spare the feelings of another. In the end, I would only be hurting myself.

82,000 miles was a much more heartwarming milestone. Myself and four of my friends were traveling to a neighboring state in celebration of a friend's birthday. I had organized a day of events to celebrate her life. She would know just how much she means to me, and the company of others would do the same. We were just inside of Ohio when I declared the change in numbers. We all cheered and expressed the love we had for each other—five good friends that were soon torn apart by the careless actions of myself. These girls taught me that words hurt and what may be funny to you may not be funny to someone else. Words can cut like-a-knife and mentally destroy another human being and sever the friendship for the rest of eternity. Nothing would ever be the same.

83,000 miles was spent with another boy. The last mile mark was a turning point in my life, where I had taken what my last two relationships had taught me and sat to think while enjoying the love and support of my dear friends. This new boy was the polar opposite of my first one mentioned. He was much younger than me. A proper boy, he loved his momma and wanted to succeed in life at whatever cost. The cost ended up being me. He moved away for college and the summer we spent together was euphoric but come fall, it all was torn down by the miles between us. He credited the distance for our split. He said I am the right girl at the wrong time. This boy taught me that if you truly love someone, you would make it work—at whatever cost. Although he didn't do that, I did. I was more understanding and my improved communication skills were put to use, but they were not reciprocated. We always spoke about giving 50-50 to what we had, but towards the end, I was giving 100 and he was giving zero. Don't force someone to love you; do not settle on unsatisfactory love.

84,000 miles was spent with one of my best friends at the time. This girl was my partner-in-crime—my other being, painted with a different paintbrush. We were on our way to the bookstore to do what we loved most: shopping for books and sitting on the floor to read them for roughly an hour before we drove home to read them while drinking coffee, no matter the time. We were absolutely inseparable. As time went on, our complimentary characteristics began to butt heads intensely. My tough girl attitude was damaging to her sweet girl mindset. I became toxic to her. That took a lot for me to type. I was toxic to my best friend. I only hope she is doing everything that she loves now.

85,000 miles is the most profound mileage I have hit yet. Through the course of these miles I have learned a lot about myself, my character, the power in my words, the value of my self worth, and the importance of self care. Most importantly, these miles taught me that self love is the best love. Don't look for your other-half, because you are already whole. Have you guessed that I hit 85,000 miles in my car alone, driving down the highway alone, blasting John Mayer on the snowiest days of spring? On my way home from spending the night with a man who accepts all of my downfalls and supports me through all of my realizations. What is different about this man is that I met him at the highest point in my life. I met him after all these miles of finding who I am. I enjoy his company immensely and I am truly blessed to have him as part of my life. However, I am not dependent on the feelings he gives me. I feel the most nourished when I am loving myself. Maybe 85,000 miles is not as monumental as I believe it to be. Emotionally, I am not alone. At that moment, physically, I was. I may hit another revelation at 86,000 miles. For now, I am content. I am eager to see what else this 2011 Mazda 3i Sport brings me.

travel

Liz Galante

The sunflowers never stop reaching for what they love.

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