I think I’m in love. He’s sleek. He’s sexy. He’s got that handsome, mature, salt-and-pepper look.
His name is Harvey.
He shares my insane affinity for road trips and adventures. There’s honestly no place I’d rather be than riding alongside him on a new adventure. He lets me vent and he gives me control over the radio anytime I want and that’s huge. I’m very particular about my music – aka, don’t ever touch this white girl’s radio. He has no idea how much this means to me, though I tell him constantly. He’ll listen to music with me for hours on end and never complain.
We’ve explored so many places together – San Diego, the Grand Canyon, Santa Barbara, Malibu, New mexico and now Dallas. He means so much to me. Yes I recognize it’s silly to love him as much as I do, but Harvey gives me freedom. And yes, in case you haven’t figured it out yet, Harvey is my car.
Stop laughing. It’s a real relationship, kay?
Harvey lets me run away if I want. In a fight over flight situation, the flight always wins out. I’m not much of a confrontational person, like, at ALL. I’d rather hear that nails-on-a-chalkboard sound for hours on end than confront someone. I believe that makes me a tadddd passive aggressive. I mean, I’ve never left a ridiculous note to my roommate about cleaning up her shit or anything, but I HAVE left one on my neighbor’s’ door telling them to be quiet – anonymously of course. Anyway….I recognize it’s an issue.
I spend a lot of time thinking in my car. Long drives to and from work can be conducive to deep thoughts and self examination. I’m grateful for this. Harvey also offers protection of my space. I see my rides with Harvey as a time to fully be myself. As an introvert it can be difficult to be 100% me in any given scenario. Speaking doesn’t come as easily as thinking does to me, whereas people pleasing is second nature. I’m working on this now and I recognize it’s not ideal to feel like I have to hide myself from the world. I still have to talk myself into this at times, but it’s getting better.
Anyway, back to Harvey. Yeah. He’s awesome. There’s nothing we can’t outrun. Okay, except maybe a Ferrari….and most cars in general. And you know, a Cheetah. But, you get the point.
Film geek that I am, I actually named him after the 1950 movie, which features Jimmy Stewart as an eccentric drunk who claims to be friends with a 6 ft tall Pooka (aka Rabbit). His family sends Elwood (Stewart) to a mental hospital believing he is hallucinating out of drunkenness or mental illness. But, out of everyone in the film, Elwood seems to be the happiest and most amiable character by far. By the end of the film one begins to wonder if he’s indeed the only sane person around.
You also begin to wonder if Harvey isn’t imaginary at all.
Initially when I named my car, I thought it’d be funny to name my gray Toyota Corolla after an imaginary Rabbit. After all it IS gray …and if I drive fast enough it COULD be invisible.
Ok fine. Maybe not, but still I was proud of the metaphor as cheesy as it is.
The longer I’ve had my car the more similarities I’ve noticed. Like Elwood, I’m grateful for the escape from reality my car offers me. Also similar to Elwood, I’m admittedly a little mentally unstable. It’s easy to recognize that the 6 ft tall Pooka in the film is another facet of Elwood, as my need to escape and recreate myself is another facet of me.
But, as awesome as he is, I think I get addicted to the freedom I feel when we take off on the open road. It feels like anything is possible – as if I can set off and make a new life. I’ve done this several times by now (Nashville, Dallas, LA, Scotland), so I’m basically a pro. But, as a wise friend said to me recently, “the problem with starting over somewhere new, is that you take yourself with you.”
All my problems, all the passive aggressiveness and not being able to stand up for myself is still going to be there. My fear over not ever being a successful writer seems to just get worse every time I move. I lug the same old insecurities around with me. The people pleasing is getting better as of late – I don’t care quite as much what others think of me, or what YOU think of me. Obviously…I hope you like the blog post and I’d love an accolade if you feel so inclined buuuuuut, I’m gonna post what I’m gonna post on here for the sake of helping others. Or hell…simply because I want to.
Being in Dallas this long sort of feels like I’m starting over, but I keep reminding myself, I’m not starting OVER, I’m starting FRESH. And that’s awesome. As much as I miss LA – or really just my community there – Dallas is growing on me. And the more comfortable I get with myself and learning to appreciate the mundane, simple things in life, the less I feel like hitting the road and starting over.
So, though I live for those spontaneous escapes with Harvey, I think we’ll stay put for a while.