01 July 2013

Humbled

“It’s humbling, to become the very thing you once mocked.” ~ Gillian Flynn, Gone Girl
When I was much younger, I used to be impressed with myself.

By the age of thirty, I managed to buy and own two houses, a nice, brand new car, and I had money in the bank.  I was young, single, and carefree, and I spent much of my spare time traveling to Europe on a whim.  It was not unusual for me to decide on a Thursday evening that I would spend the weekend in London, Rome, or Paris, and I was proud of the fact that I could do so whenever the urge hit me.

If I became tired of a car, I would give my car away to younger relatives, and buy whatever new car struck my fancy.

Fast forward to the present.  

After the tragic loss of the death of my sister, a destructive and unhappy marriage, several unaccomplished goals, single parenthood, and thirteen years later, my life is much different.

These days, I rent a one bedroom apartment with my six-year old daughter in an apartment building above a corner grocery store and deli shop.  I don't own a car and have to walk or rely on public transportation.  I have some savings in the bank, but not enough to comfortably spend on lavish material whims.  I worry about the stability of my job and my future earning potential in an ever-downsizing legal field.

Thirteen years ago, I never would have thought I would be in the financial situation where I am now.  I used to think very little of the people who were in situations similar to my own now, and I remember thinking, "Geez, what the hell did they do to get to where they are now?"  I would shake my head and think to myself, "That will never be me."

I thought about this the other day when I got excited about buying my friend's 2000 Honda Accord.  It is a thirteen year old four door sedan with chipping paint.  There is a dent in the front driver-side bumper.  But it still runs well and the air conditioning works.  It has leather interior and a CD player.  

She is practically giving the car away to me by selling it to me at a fraction of what the car is worth.

And I am ecstatic beyond words.  

I will finally have a car again after being without one for so long.

In another lifetime of mine, I would never have looked twice at this car.  I would have thought that I was too good for this car.

Funny how life works.