a time to fail

It was ten years ago when I first laid eyes on him. He was everything I ever wanted at the time. I was 20 years young, in my final year of my undergraduate degree, and I still had my whole life ahead of me.

But as the years went by, I began to prioritise other things and neglected him to the point where his value started to waste away. Fast forward ten years later, to this very week, when the time came to say my goodbyes. I was quite emotional, not really knowing exactly why. We’ve been through a lot together, he literally journeyed with me for ten growing years.

And I thought it was all those years we spent together that made the thought of separation unbearable. But it wasn’t. It was because I had failed. My first adult responsibility was entrusted to me and I failed so hard. It was a massive slap to the face, and my pride. And it hurt like diving into a pool, belly first.

You might have already gathered that I’m not talking about a person. The subject of this blog is none other than Theodore Cameron Silverstone, otherwise known as Teddy – my first beloved car.

You see, I’m going on a holiday in ten days and I’m a little (a lot) short on cash, so I had this grand (well, I thought it was good at the time) idea of selling my car. Teddy was literally wasting away, sitting in the driveway, because I barely used it. So I finally gathered the courage to ask for my parents’ blessing to sell it. They bought me the car as birthday/graduation present so I thought it would only be polite to. And when they finally said “Do whatever you want with it, it was a gift to you.”, I was in high hopes and set up an appointment with a car buyer company to evaluate it.

Those high hopes didn’t last long. I quickly (which was odd, because my phlegmatic temperament says I’m slow to react) started coming to terms with selling Teddy and I instantly became sad, almost to the point where I tried to come up with valid reasons to not go to the appointment. And then trying to convince myself that those reasons were better than going on a holiday completely broke. It was an internal battle. I have a lot of those.

Anyway, with a lot of apprehension, I still went to the appointment. I remember the day like it was yesterday (it was about four days ago, lol). It was gloomy and the dark clouds reflected my emotions. I like to say that I like change. My resume can attest to that. But I still have trouble letting go of things, especially things with sentimental value.

But what happened next was more dreadful than I can ever imagine. As the buyer looked at Teddy for an evaluation, even before he stepped into the car, he already started listing all the things that was wrong with it. And each flaw, each malfunction, was like a splintered piece of wood piercing through my heart.

And then, a glass-shattering moment came over me. I finally realised why I was dreading this appointment so much. It was because I knew deep down that I had failed Teddy. And I wasn’t ready to hear it from a professional. It was kinda like receiving a report card full of F’s from a teacher but knowing full well that you deserved it.

I failed. And it was so heartbreaking.

But you know, like with every mistake and failure in life, I had to accept it. And of course, I promised myself that if I ever gather enough money to buy my second car, I’d take care of it. I owe it to Teddy.

Anyway, because the car was in such a bad condition, the buyer was only willing to buy it for metal scrap and I knew my dad, despite his blessing, would be furious with that decision so I drove Teddy back home and now he’s back where he was, wasting away in the driveway. But my goodbyes weren’t wasted. I learnt a valuable lesson from it. Own up to your mistakes and failures and, as the late wise Aaliyah used to say/sing..

“If at first you don’t succeed, dust yourself off and try again..”

All humour aside though..

..a legitimate, unwanted goodbye had to be said that very same day. Something tragic occurred to someone I knew and now her family and friends have had to say goodbye to her young, driven life. She had so much potential and her passing has shaken everyone that knew her, even me, who had only known her for a few months. Please lift up a prayer for her soul and her family.
Rest in paradise, Jessica Mudie.

Until next time – M.

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