Monday, October 6, 2008


Let me introduce you to my little RAV4, she is a green four door Toyota mini SUV, born in 1996. My RAV4 has been with me through a lot in my life, even things that I may not have shared with people closest to me. My RAV4 has seen me through tears and laughter, through travel and work, through life changing events and through special moments; my RAV4 has seen me through life.
My RAV4 was there in those silent cold nights when I sat behind the wheel and shed tears over a broken heart, she was the one who hugged me inside of her and then took me back home. My RAV4 was there when my girlfriends and I rode to clubs and parties laughing and singing, playing loud music for us and witnessing the friendships and the fun. My RAV4 was there through four years of college, internships, jobs and interviews. She was the fist one to see me after an acceptance or rejection, taking in all of my feelings. My RAV4 was there as I mourned deaths in my family and as I celebrated accomplishments.
My RAV4 sheltered me and listened while I had long meaningful conversations and smoked cigarettes under her roof as cold rain poured hard outside. My RAV4 and I listened to depressing music when I was feeling sad, lonely or angry. She and I listened to happy music when I was feeling excited and overjoyed. My RAV4 was with me every single day traveling through the streets of my young adulthood, taking me to work, school, parties, parks, etc. My RAV4 not only protected me as she was hit by cars from behind but she forgave me when I backed her into other cars (and poles) without looking.
My RAV4 gracefully witnessed my joys, my sorrows, my fears and my happiness through different stages and events of my life. My RAV4 saw me puke my guts out during drunken nights and she saw me the next morning regretting that last drink. My RAV4 watched me admire my engagement ring with excitement as I held her steering wheel. My RAV4 came along to Vancouver B.C., Portland, Eastern Washington and California with me. My RAV4 was a silent witness to most of my 20's.
Even when I relocated to another state my RAV4 came with me, acquiring a new license plate and learning the new streets and highways right along with me. My RAV4 was with me as I got lost in the new cities and felt homesick for my old life. My RAV4 has always been one constant thing in my ever changing life, carrying with her my past, my memories and my sense of self.
Although I did not own her until she was two years old, my RAV4 was still very young and fresh, having only acquired 15,000 miles on her. On that August day when I left the house in the morning I was not planning to buy a car, I was not even planning to go into a car dealership. When I was signing the papers I knew that the payments were too high for my budget. When I brought her home, the next day my father sent me back to "return" the car because I could not afford it.
The payments were high for me and I struggled, but not one day did I regret my decision to buy my RAV4. Every single time that I sat in that car I enjoyed it as I loved the fun design on the seats, the cool CD changer, the moon roof, the all around electric features and how perfectly it fit me. She was ideal for traveling, going out, having fun and being me.
Even though there were times that I was not making any money, I still managed to make each and every car payment by myself, may it have been from student loans or from borrowing. After six years I was finally done with the monthly payments and became the sole owner of my RAV4, and that is one of the things that I am very proud of in my life. For this my RAV4 represents my hard work and dedication, my value to commitment and my underestimated strength.
When one day I brought home a brand new shiny white SUV, my RAV4 left her home in the garage and gave way to the newcomer, taking her new spot in the street. I still use my RAV4 at times (for a trip to Home Depot or to the "scketcy" parts of town), but she is not the witness of my day to day life any longer.
My RAV4 is not my main car any more, but she continues to have a special place in my heart as it is difficult to let go of something so heavy, not by weight in tons but by weight in feelings and memories. Every corner of that car carries a memory from the pages of my life during my 20's. For example the broken little red light in the back is from the time when I backed her into the neighbor's car in the early dawn before going snowmobiling.
My RAV4 sits outside of my house gracefully and holds with her so many years of memories and stories of tears and smiles, tales from the book of my life.
Now I am creating new memories and stories for my shiny white SUV to witness, but I know that the stories will not be as exciting, fun, dramatic and life changing as I managed to share with my RAV4 in my 20's.
So now that you have been introduced to my RAV4, you should know why even though she may not have been my first car or my most luxurious car, she is my most precious car.

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