Have you ever thought that the type of car you drive might say something about the type of person you are?
I grew up middle class in a small town in Ohio. When I turned 16, I was given a 12-year-old light blue Oldsmobile Cutlass Ciera with a little rust around the bottom. To me, the car said who I was: a 16-year-old high school student, fresh out of driving school. When I graduated high school and was ready to leave for college, my parents bought me a different car. This time it was more reliable: a 5-year-old green Ford Escort with keyless entry. Again, I think it defined me: a college girl who would be driving back and forth from college to home.
Three years after graduating from college, I finally took a big step in my life and bought my very own car. It was a brand new Chevrolet Cobalt. It was the new me: shiny, independent and ready to conquer my little piece of the world. A lot of big things happened while I had that car: I got promoted to a management position at my job, I met the love of my life and then married him, acquired a stepson, adopted a second dog and then found out I was pregnant!
Soon after finding out I was pregnant, my husband and I quickly realized that my faithful Cobalt would no longer work for our growing family. We set out to buy ourselves a new car. We knew we needed something bigger as we are often taking long car trips with the whole crew. I was sure that I knew what the new me should look like: a SUV with third row seating! We searched, and then searched some more to find the perfect vehicle for me. It had to be a vehicle that appealed to me aesthetically, had a lot of space, was reliable and was within our budget. We visited car dealership after car dealership, and I never felt like I saw the right SUV for us.
One day, as we were pulling into a dealership I said, “Maybe we should just check out the minivans that they have here.” That was the day we bought my next car: a dark blue Volkswagen Routan minivan. It was perfect. It had the space I was looking for on the inside, was practically brand new, automatic everything and was within our budget.
The day that I emptied all the little compartments in my Cobalt I literally had tears streaming down my face. It was the end of an era in my life, but it was also the beginning of a new era. I was no longer that single, freshly-graduated young lady, I was a mom. The minivan was my new identity and probably will be for years to come.