When I was 17 I got my first car. It was a hand me down, as all or most teenagers have and should have. My very first car was a 1985 Mercury Grand Marquis, with cream paint and cream leather interior, in it's heyday it was a luxury car. By time I started driving it was just a smidge above ghetto. Don't get me wrong I loved that car and everything it represented, most importantly my freedom and independence to do what I wanted and needed to do when I wanted or needed to do it without having to ask for a ride. I loving named her my land yacht and she got me back and forth from work, and my boyfriends and where ever else my little heart desired to go so long as I continued to put gas in her very thirsty tank. Of course back then gas was like $1 a gallon so $20 would get me pretty far. After about a year or so of driving her around she started giving me some problems, mechanical issues I just didn't have the money to fix so with the help of my boyfriend I traded her in and leased my first new car.
From then on for the next 10 years or so I drove nothing but new cars. Every 2 years or so a shiny new car would grace my driveway. Sometimes there would be more than one at a time, as the boyfriend became the hubs and we became parents we both needed vehicles. So this continued for about a decade.
I loved everyone of those vehicles but I will be the first to admit I don't think I ever really appreciated them. I had learned to expect them, that was the way it was. A nice new car that I enjoyed driving but never truly appreciated.
Then things got rough for awhile and we just couldn't afford to get another new car with a shiny new car payment when are last one went back. So we found the nicest used mini van we could find and purchased it. For 3 years I was just like so many others, I drove around in a car I didn't love but I appreciated it because it was dependable, got me every where I needed to go and when we weren't in a place that we could take on a payment it was paid off.
I dreamed about the day I could have a new car again, but was also grateful for how lucky I was to have what I did. I knew so many others who didn't have anything, or had unreliable vehicles that would constantly break down. I knew it could be worse and that we were very lucky to have what we did.
Over the summer I started working and are income had improved, we found ourselves in a place that we could actually afford to take on a payment again. We waited a little while to research and decide if it was the best choice for us. We looked at a lot of different options, hemmed and hawwed over gas mileage, size, etc.
This past Monday I picked up my new 2013 Ford Escape. It's everything I need and want in a vehicle. It's beautiful, comfortable, roomy enough for my whole family and has amazing gas mileage. The monthly payments are super reasonable, and most importantly I've learned how important it is to not only love your car but to appreciate it.
I'll never regret my years with my used mini van because it was a great family car, but also because it taught me to appreciate everything I have. Be it a brand new shiny right off the showroom floor car, or one that has 100,000 miles on it and petrified goldfish forever stuck in the carpet under the seats.
I'll write another post about all the awesomeness that is the Ford Escape later with pictures, but for today I just wanted to write about how important it is to know what you have and not turn into that chick that was once me with the attitude of entitlement and expectation. I'll never expect to get what I want just because that's how it's always been again. Now I'll enjoy every minute of what I have, be grateful for the good and work my butt off to get those things I want.