To start off I generally don't post journals due to not having interesting something to write about, (but mainly because I'm lazy and I forget most things I deem irrelevant or frustrating). But yesterday something special happened that opened up my eyes on how I perceive myself and where I should go. And in a cruel twist of fate, I sort of met someone but not really (more on that later) but I don't see any way to continue meaningful dialogue with this person outside of the topic that facilitated the initial contact.
So to fully understand this story we have to go back to Late June/ Early July of this year. Just before RTX I was considering buying a Jeep of some sort. (Partially because I thought it would be nice to have one and because my parents were getting rid of the Jeep we already owned) I would need something reliable for the winter, so a Jeep with my dad's suggestion/help is one of the first things that came to mind.
Towards the end of June I came to the decision that it was time for me to trade in my Mustang. I had gotten tired of it. Partly because I had it for 8-ish years or so and I was tired of doing lots of little repairs to keep it in great condition. So at the onset of July, I went to a Jeep dealership and bought a new car and took out an auto-loan, reaffirming the vicious circle of debt that I have come to despise but also need in order to keep my credit and to a lesser extent, my financial responsibility, on track.
Part of the deal in getting my new Jeep was that I had agreed to trade in my Mustang to help shave off a few thousand or so. For most Mustang owners, this was certain treason of the highest degree. I might as well have worn a red coat and called myself Benedict Brock. No Mustang owner in their right mind would willingly trade in their hot rod. Except me. As I turned on the ignition to my new Jeep and drove homeward bound while pouring rain outside; I left my Mustang behind with its new owner (The Dealership) and left it to its fate. However, I couldn't help but think I lost a piece of myself when I drove off the lot and I wondered what would become of the car I had for the past 8 years. If you couldn't tell by now (I couldn't at the time, I had an emotional connection to this car). Ladies if you ever wondered why men get weird about cars sometimes, this is why. Even as a gamer with no interest in most things automotive I felt this connection to my car that I can't really explain.
As fate would have it, my Jeep started acting up last week and having a myriad of electronic issues. So I did what any regular joe-schmo would do and took it a local Jeep dealership, thank god the car came with a warranty. (This dealership was closer to my house than the one I bought it at, and my dad has connections in the local auto industry because of his superior car knowledge and skill so he set up the appointment for me and talked to the right people). So I dropped off my Jeep on Friday night after work and I told the service writer (fancy name for a dealership repair receptionist) what kind of issues I was having and went home to start my weekend after my dad picked me up.
Somewhere on my Saturday afternoon I get a call from the Jeep dealership telling me that my car is ready to be picked up but that it will likely need to be dropped off again the following week because the mechanic didn't have enough time to go over everything and suspects that the problems my Jeep was having were the first ever seen for that model and year Jeep in the whole country. (Yah I know just my luck, the one time I'm actually special is when there's a problem with something).
Fast forward to Sunday afternoon. I'm just chilling in my room playing some Yakuza Kiwami on my PS4 having a great time being a derpy couch potato and busting up some knuckleheads that were tormenting a good citizen. My dad comes upstairs and says, "Hey Brock, have you popped the hood on your Jeep to make sure a rodent didn't chew any wires? That might be what is causing the electronics issues, I know the manufacturer likes to coat the wires in a special oil that is peanut based and it could attract Squirrels, let's check it out." I say alright let's take a look, and we go outside and check all the wiring. Aside from some suspicious looking green tape that I peeled off (later found out it was supposed to stay on, oops), there was nothing damaged, just as I had expected. Rodents in my area don't like to be on blacktop (what my Jeep was parked on top of) because it hurts their feet a lot and they try to find soft ground first, so my mild hypothesis was correct this time.
At this point it's a little after 2PM the sun was shining and the wind was a nice Summer breeze and I haven't eaten lunch yet at this point. My dad suggests that we go out on a road test to check on some more things in the Jeep just to be sure about the issues when I go to tell the dealership whats up later this week. So we head over to the local shopping center and we stop in Subway and I get my ever so delicious Italian BMT and a bag of BBQ baked lays potato chips. (My inner fat kid couldn't be happier). Impulsively I buy some fresh Chocolate chip cookies to sate my unyielding hunger for the little brown sugar discs. After what can only be described as an awkward encounter with the person behind the Subway counter, my dad gets his cutsom ordered flat bread pizza for my mom that she always likes and we exit the restaurant and get inside my Jeep and begin driving home.
Right as we are about to stop at a 3-way intersection near a (still inside the shopping center parking area) out of the corner of my eye I catch a glance at a Mustang, not to dissimilar from the one I had traded in almost 3 months ago, it had some new wheels, tires, and a new decal on the hood and inside on the dash that wren't there before...
I alert my dad to this and he brushes it off and said that a lot of people have that color car around here. Then I tell him, "How many people have that color Mustang with those exact decals and window louvers on it"? He got really quiet for a second and then said "Let's drive by it just to make sure". We pull up behind this parked Mustang and I notice that the louvers on the rear window have the exact same repair job I did to fix the crack in the bottom right hand corner. (There was a black polymer that helps bond plastic louvers together for that sole purpose). Right then and there, I said "This is my old Mustang! I can't believe it someone bought my car and I got to see it after all this time!"
It was like seeing an old friend after not laying eyes on them for what felt like years. I was overjoyed that someone else is enjoying the car as much as I did when I still had it. My dad says, "Hey, you should leave your cell number on the windshield and offer to sell the original wheels and tires to this person". (We had deduced that the car belonged to a woman because of the yellow hair scrunchy hanging on the rear view mirror and the two Starbucks coffees in the cup holders). So I went over to Staples across the shopping center to get a pen and a piece of paper. I scrawled down the situation and how I knew it was my old car and left my number in case the person that owned my old Mustang wanted to buy the wheels and tires from me.
I felt like I was in a spy movie and that I had to get the message along to an unidentified agent or something. Needless to say I was excited to make a new connection and possibly a friend with another person. (My curse of being inside boy, is that I don't get out that much). My dad and I drove back home and had lunch together talking about how crazy it was seeing my old car again, considering that Mustangs in the condition I left it in don't sit on the lot for long. About an hour goes by and I get a text from a number I didn't recognize saying hello and the person was in fact a woman that liked Mustangs as much as I did.
For the sake of her privacy, we'll call this woman "Rini". Rini explained that she had bought the Mustang a month later at the same dealership I traded it in at. She said that the wheels and tires looked cool, but she didn't have the cash/ didn't want to buy them because she just bought the wheels on it now recently, which was understandable. After about an hour of texting Rini (not constantly) I say it nice meeting her and all that jazz, and that she can look me up on Facebook if she wanted to look at some pictures I took of the car while I still owned and to keep in touch despite the fact that she said she would be moving out of state soon.
All in all not a bad Sunday, I got to see my old car one last time and I made a new friend IRL. (Although I doubt I'll ever meet her face to face because of the whole moving thing), this experience opened up my eyes about how people can connect with each other and gave me pause as I reflected back on what I still want to do and what I want to accomplish. I might be able to meet Rini sometime in the future and share some stories about the Mustang and what not. But more importantly it gave me some much needed confidence about how I see myself and that someone like her would talk to someone like me. (If you would seen Rini's profile pic, she was drop dead gorgeous). Never in a million years would I have just left a note on some stranger's windshield. But I did, don't ask me why or what came over me, I just did it. What I'm saying is, I notice my personality slowly changing and my outlook on my life has been slightly altered for the better.
If you made it this far congrats, have a cookie. Thanks for reading this and listening to me ramble about my day. Even if just one person reads this it will be worth it, that's why the RT community is awesome! :D
If not here's the TL;DR
Traded in Mustang/Bought a Jeep
Have issues with new Jeep
Try to get issues fixed
Go for a drive Sunday
Find old Mustang in parking lot.
Leave note w/ phone # about selling original wheels and tires.
Get a text from the woman that owns the Mustang
Become Friends with woman
Enjoyed a casual conversation about the Mustang
Reflected on my life and how I can improve and do more with it.