People sometimes wonder why I blog about my car. “Do you love your car that much?”
And if you asked I would tell you “No. In fact, sometimes I don’t like my car at all.” Most of the time though the car and I have an excellent relationship. But my feelings toward my Vette – whether positive or negative – have little to do with the reason why I blog about it. When you get right down to it I blog about the car because it helps me feel like I have control in my life. And control is all anyone really wants. Let me explain.
So much in our lives is outside the scope of our ability to control (warning: actual feelings ahead). Each day on the news, when talking with others and firsthand I see instances of injustice and abuse resulting in discomfort, despair and in some cases despondency. I see a world that, in some ways, is spiraling out of control. When a friend’s son dies of cancer at the age of 10, when I read about the senseless mistreatment of children, when I hear about instances of absolute disregard for life, laws or decency, when my children make choices I know will lead to heartache… it is during these times that I sometimes lose patience. I sometimes lose hope.
It is during these moments of weakness that I need distraction. Some turn to religion, some turn to television, others to alcohol. I turn to my car. When I simply need time to think I go for a drive. I drive for hours to clear my mind. My car is a mobile refuge that can outrun entropy and chaos. In the isolation of my vehicle I solve problems, think through feelings and rediscover optimism. But once in awhile a drive to think things over is simply not enough. I have to do something.
Maybe it’s repairing some damage, cleaning and polishing, adding a radiator, reinstalling pillar gauges or simply making some cosmetic changes. This is control. No matter what is going on in the world around me I can control how my car looks, how it runs and how fast it goes and where it travels. Sometimes my projects go horribly wrong, and in the very act of piling on frustration I find balance. My car is a thing. And things can be fixed because we control them. In the end, if I’m careful, if I’m patient, if I persevere my car will be fine. Better than it was before, in fact. There is solution to every problem. And this window into life is exhilarating.
When I conquer a problem I memorialize it here in my blog. So maybe installing a radiator and some red silicone hoses is actually my way to cope with a problem at work. Perhaps the time I spend waxing my car is actually an attempt to deal with a personal issue. I read back over my blog often and remember. Where you see a modification to my car I see my ability to overcome difficult situations and regain control in my life.
But as thoughtful as all that may be, sometimes I really do just love my car that much.
Posted by Cam Hughes, Feb 27, 2012