Thursday, August 16, 2012

I Am My Car? I Am Not My Car?

It's really interesting/sad/lovely/human how we use things to label ourselves. Take cars, for example. I drive a Volvo S40 T5. It's fast, agile, sporty, but still classy and attractive. While I may not use all of those words to describe myself, I feel like my car reflects "me" and the image I want to show the world.

{my bff on our road trip through sequoia (read about it here)}

Unfortunately, my Swedish beauty is in some trouble right now. Not only was she rudely bumped the other day (read about it here), but over the weekend, she decided she needed a new engine. So, now I'm swimming in the murky waters of insurance, appraisers, borrowed cars, and oh so much money.

Luckily, I was able to borrow my sister's car for a few days. Now, she drives a Prius - a car I would probably never buy. It's just not sexy! It's not fast, it's not completely unattractive, but it's a little funny-looking. But also, I'm not a "Prius driver." I don't see myself that way. When I was driving her caer, I felt like an imposter. I felt like everyone was looking at me and thinking, "She must care about the environment. She obviously goes to Burning Man. She might not even shave her armpits." And, yes, I know this is crazy. But of course, we all judge people on first impressions and I *might* have been projecting my first impressions onto others.

Last night, I had to give my sister her car back, so I borrowed my friend's car - a bright yellow Ford Escape. Driving that bad boy aroound, I could hear the whispers, "She must like snowboarding. She's obviously active. I bet she surfs." I feel like I need to explain everytime I make eye contact with another driver - "Hello, yes, this isn't my car actually. I just have to drive it for a while. I normally drive a Volvo. But, not the mom kind! The cool kind, the fast kind, the successful 20-something kind."

And it's at about that point that I realize I've lost my grip on reality. I am not my car. I am a person. My car is lovely. And sexy, and fast, and beautiful and --. You get it. But it's not who I am.

But maybe it's who I want to be. Everybody uses their clothes, hair, jewelry, makeup, and things to portray an aimage of who they want the world to perceive them as. Even people who say they're "not into that" are consciously putting out that image. "I'm too smart to brush my hair or put on makeup." By the way, that was me for many years. But I WANTED people to notice my brain, not my hair, because I thought it meant we were shallow. What it really meant was that they probably didn't give my brain a thought because I looked like a homeless person.  


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